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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 5, 2010

Rod Tam to continue his run for mayor despite ethics violations

Advertiser Staff

City Councilman Rod Tam said today he is “accepting responsibility” for errors in some of the reimbursements he received from the city for meals that were not related to city business, but he maintained that most of the meals he submitted expense requests for were justified.

The city Ethics Commission yesterday released an advisory opinion in which Tam agreed to pay the city $13,700 in reimbursements and a fine in exchange for dismissing the claims again the two-term councilman.
“I’m going to comply to the stipulations on the basis that it was an agreement ... between myself, my attorney Jack Schweigert and Chuck Totto, the legal entity for the Ethics Commission,” Tam said, adding that he admits no wrongdoing or violations of any standards of conduct.
Tam said it’s possible that the charges made against him were politically motivated. He has announced he will run for mayor if Mayor Mufi Hannemann chooses to resign and run for governor as many expect he will do.
Tam said he will continue his campaign because his supporters have urged him to do so.
City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle has declared a potential conflict of interest in this case and will not pursue charges against Tam. Carlislef, like Tam, has said he will run for mayor when Mayor Mufi Hannemann leaves office.
Hannemann is expected to resigned by July 22 candidate filing deadline in order to run for governor.
Chuck Totto, the Ethics Commission’s executive director, said he will ask the state Attorney General’s Office to review the case to determine if there should be a criminal investigation.