City sign supervisor under investigation for ethics violations - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

City sign supervisor under investigation for spending much of workday at home

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A city traffic signs supervisor is being investigated for spending significant amounts of time at home during his shift, halfway across the island from where he was supposed to be working.

City employees in the Department of Facility Maintenance complain some of their co-workers and even supervisors have been allowed to misbehave for years, with few consequences, sources said. 

Patrick Costa has worked for the city for 24 years. He's traffic signs supervisor for the department of facility maintenance, working out of the city's Halawa Corporation Yard. 

And Costa has an important job, overseeing a staff of about 24 people who install and maintain everything from stop signs, speed limit and no parking signs to lane striping along city streets all over Oahu. 

Now, sources said, Costa is under investigation because employees say he frequently would go to work in Halawa, check in on his employees and then drive his city truck back to his house on Keolu Drive in Windward Oahu. 

He'd spend hours at home during his shifts, sources said, all the while getting paid by the city, sometimes collecting overtime or higher night differential pay. 

A city spokeswoman said Costa's on leave pending the outcome of an investigation. 

When a Hawaii News Now reporter knocked on door of his home Monday morning, Costa came to the door but said "I have no comment," when asked if he wanted to add anything to our story. 

Investigators will compare Costa's time sheets, on which he claimed he was actually working, with where he was actually located on the island, using the GPS information in his city cell phone, a source said.  That way, prosecutors will eventually be able to prove in court that instead of being at the Halawa yard or another city location, he was actually spending large amounts of time at his home along Keolu drive, a source said. 

Costa's neighbors told a Hawaii News now reporter Costa did not try to hide the city truck he'd park right in front of his house on Keolu drive for hours at a time.  And neighbors said an investigator for the city interviewed them and took photos of Costa arriving home in the middle of his shifts.  

Costa's base city salary ranged from $44,232 to $48,852, but he earned more with overtime and differentials for working night shifts, sources said.  

Through a spokeswoman, city Department of Facility Maintenance Director Westley Chun declined comment because an internal investigation is underway. 

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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