HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The chair of the Honolulu City Council describes the criminal probe into Councilmember Rod Tam's use of taxpayer money as "unfortunate." On Thursday, the embattled councilmember attended his first council meeting since news of the criminal investigation broke.
Honolulu police and the state Attorney General's office are investigating whether Tam should face criminal charges for receiving reimbursements for meals that were not related to council business. The mayoral candidate is in the process of paying the city back the nearly $12,000, plus a $2,000 fine.
Police investigators have called in other councilmembers to question them about the reimbursement process.
"They asked me about procedure, about our forms that we have at the City Council, how were they developed, did we have training, who's responsible for approval," Donovan Dela Cruz, councilmember, said.
"Obviously, it's unfortunate not only for me being a part of this council, but I think for everyone that these types of things happened," Todd Apo, City Council chair, said. "The one positive note on this is that I think it shows that the system works, that the checks and balances exist."
"I have no comment in terms of any type of investigation," Tam said. "Investigations are basically speculations and everybody goes through that."
In March, Tam argued that memory lapses and poor record-keeping led to him using taxpayer money for personal meals.
On Thursday, Tam told the media that he once was a private investigator handling worker's compensation cases that were all based on speculations. But he declined comment on whether he believes he did the right thing with his council allowance.
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