Former councilman to pay fine over illegal gifts

Former councilman to pay fine over illegal gifts

HONOLULU (AP) - Former City Councilman Nestor Garcia has made an agreement with the Honolulu Ethics Commission that may affect the future of the city's $5.8 billion rail transit project.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the commission announced Wednesday that Garcia agreed to pay $8, 100 to settle allegations that he accepted illegal gifts and failed to report them.

The commission's advisory opinion alleges that Garcia failed to disclose a conflict of interest in a number of bills and resolutions that affected lobbyists' interests, including legislation affecting rail transit.

The commission's executive director, Chuck Totto, says that Garcia's votes that benefited the interests of the lobbyists who gave him unlawful gifts should be nullified.

The advisory opinion states Garcia received close to $1,800 in gifts of meals and golf from two unnamed lobbyists.

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