Lawmakers grill state officials after ethics violations on Kauai

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Lawmakers questioned officials from the Department of Land and Natural Resources Thursday about what changes are being made after the State Ethics Commission found numerous violations within Kauai’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation office.

The investigation found the office manager awarded more than 100 jobs to a private contractor, who the manager admitted was a friend.

The manager also falsified documents related to the jobs the contractor was given, using other companies names to make it appear that the bid had been open to other companies.

Two employees in the office were also found to have violated rules by using state equipment for personal use and conducting personal business at work.  

“I’m not saying how you guys supposed to doing your job, but for me, I would of questioned it,” said Sen. Kurt Fevella, referring to the contracts he says would have showed up as a big red flag if he reviewed them. “I just hope going forward we have a better procedure and oversight on something like this.” 

As a result of the investigation, the manager resigned and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.

The two employees paid fines of $1,500 and $2,000 each.

The DLNR says it has since changed procedures in an effort to catch future violations. 

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