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HPD aims inquiry at Council’s Rod Tam

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Rod Tam:
Censured by fellow Council
members because of impro-
per use of contingency funds,
he agreed to pay restitution
and a fine but admitted no-
wrong doing, only sloppy

The Honolulu Police Department is investigating possible criminal charges involving City Councilman Rod Tam’s use of city funds to pay for more than $22,000 in meals unrelated to his work as a Council member.

Police confirmed an investigation yesterday but declined further comment because the case is still open.

Tam, who is in the final year of his second term and is running for Honolulu mayor, did not return telephone messages seeking comment.

The city Ethics Commission issued an advisory opinion in March saying Tam improperly used his Council contingency fund for "hundreds" of meals for family members and constituents.

Tam, whom the Council censured in March, agreed to pay $11,700 in restitution and a $2,000 civil fine but admitted no wrongdoing. He acknowledged sloppy record-keeping and faulty math, and argued that rules covering discretionary expenses need to be clarified.

The Ethics Commission turned over its findings to the state attorney general’s office to review and determine whether to file criminal charges. Messages left with Attorney General Mark Bennett’s office were not returned.


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