Janet Grace, Republican challenger to State Representative Tom Brower, today called on the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, to ban the use of legislative office funds to purchase sledgehammers and other weapons or instruments that could be used to bring harm to property or individuals.
“Representative Brower abused the power of his position last year by using legislative office funds to purchase a sledgehammer which he subsequently used in raids to destroy shopping carts used by the homeless in Waikiki.
“It was not until the media revealed that he used government money to buy the sledgehammer and charged it under “office supplies” that Brower admitted his deception and “purchased” his weapon back from the State of Hawaii.
“Brower’s attacks raise an even larger issue: In the absence of clear rules prohibiting use of State funds for the purchase of weapons by legislators, the State of Hawaii has potential legal liability for damages to persons and property as the result of criminal acts committed by rogue legislators using items, like sledgehammers, purchased through their office accounts.
The Ethics Commission should act decisively today to reform existing regulations by delineating clearly what expenses can be covered by Legislative office funds. This is the only way to protect the citizens of Hawaii and stop the abuse of public trust by officials such as Representative Brower,” said Grace, a home health care professional, a member of the Waikiki Neighborhood Board and a founder of two non-profit organizations serving homeless and disadvantaged youth.
The June 18, 2014 State Ethics Commission Meeting held at 10:00 a.m. in the American Savings Bank Tower, 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 970, will consider whether to issue ethics guidance to State legislators regarding the use of their annual legislative allowance. Information on written and in-person testimony can be found at: https://ethics.hawaii.gov/main/legallowance/
Submitted by the Janet Grace campaign for House District 22