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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ethics panel says Tam wrongly billed city for meals

Advertiser Staff

Honolulu City Councilman Rod Tam has agreed to pay $13,700 for abusing his council contingency account.

An advisory opinion issued by the city Ethics Commission this morning said Tam improperly got reimbursed by the city for meals he purchased for himself and others from 2006 to 2009.
According to the opinion issued today by the Ethics Commission: Council member Tam violated the standards of conduct by charging the city for meals in circumstances where (1) he paid less for the meal than the amount he charged the city; (2) justification for the meals was false; (3) the meal was not directly related to his council member duties; (4) the meal was with his personal business associates; or (5) the meal was with his family members.
Tam said he does not know who filed the complaint. Asked if he believes it was politically motivated, Tam noted that he was notified of the complaint late last year, shortly after he announced his intention to run for lieutenant governor.
Council chairman Todd Apo said Tam volunteered to step down as chairman of the Zoning Committee. Apo accepted that request, and further asked Tam to step down from all other committees.