BY JIM DOOLEY – City Council member Ikaika Anderson used his official position to intimidate City parking garage employees, the Ethics Commission has ruled.
Anderson, 3rd Dist. (Kaneohe Kailua Waimanalo) had several disputes with parking lot employees and went to the extent of introducing a bill in 2009 that would have given the Council more control over parking stalls reserved for them and their staff.
That bill wasn’t passed, but after Anderson had two more disputes in December 2010 with parking personnel in the municipal lot, he threatened to re-introduce the bill. Several witnesses to those disputes said Anderson told the employees they could lose their jobs.
Anderson told the Commission that he didn’t threaten or intimidate employees and he also denied asking for special treatment from parking lot personnel.
Anderson said in response to the ruling on Tuesday he had been “understandably frustrated” by parking regulations and how city employees enforce them.
“No threats of any kind were made nor did I use any profane or vulgar language. Nonetheless, I do regret the incident and sincerely apologize for its occurrence,” Anderson said in a written statement.
The Commission ruled that Anderson “used his official position to intimidate the Parking Office personnel … to obtain favorable treatment for himself.”
The Commission said it was not fining or otherwise sanctioning Anderson because it felt public exposure of his actions was an appropriate penalty.
“Council member Anderson is in a high ranking elected position. The evidence against Council member Anderson is strong as there are six witnesses that support the allegations,” the Commission ruled.
Commission hearings and rulings are normally held in confidence but the agency said it was releasing its findings in this case because “there are no other means for the public to find out if Councilmember Anderson violated the city’s ethics laws and what is being done to resolve the violations.”
Anderson’s first parking garage disputes revolved around his failure to obtain a “loaner placard” after he bought a new vehicle and then his failure to return the placard after he did secure one.
The more recent dispute concerned a Council staffer who inadvertently parked Anderson’s car in another Councilmember’s slot while Anderson allowed a constituent to park in Anderson’s assigned space.
Anderson said Tuesday he “intends to work with the City’s Department of Facility Maintenance, which oversees the parking garage, to improve its policies to allow for common-sense uses of the Honolulu Hale parking stalls.”