County ethics board rails against boating division amid allegati - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

County ethics board rails against boating division amid allegations of retaliation

(Image: Big Island Video News) (Image: Big Island Video News)
(Image: Big Island Video News) (Image: Big Island Video News)
BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A Hawaii county ethics board member had harsh words for the head of the state's boating division at a board meeting Tuesday in Hilo.

Board member Rick Robinson accused boating division Administrator Ed Underwood of using his position to influence a contested hearing case and violating conflict of interest rules. 

"People need to know. DLNR, Board of Land and Natural Resources needs to know, and the governor needs to know if this kind of action is being condoned," Robinson said.  

The matter is before the board because Underwood filed an ethics complaint against Big Island prosecutor Mitch Roth, who has accused the division of retaliation.

The DLNR also said it asked the state attorney general to investigate last fall. They provided no further comment.

For his part, Underwood said he supports the state ethics board looking into this issue.

He said he initially filed the ethics complaint in his official capacity, but then changed it to a personal complaint.

The county ethics board is considering whether to dismiss the complaint.

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