State Ethics Commission: DPS deputy director walked a fine line in rallying employees

(HNN File (custom credit) | HNN File)
Published: May. 29, 2019 at 9:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -The ethics commission says a Deputy Director of Public Safety may have crossed an ethical line by pushing workers to support their boss, Nolan Espinda.

Espinda’s Deputy Jodie Maesaka-Hirata told DPS subordinate employees to show up early to Espinda’s confirmation hearing in April, and to surround him with supporters in the eyes of lawmakers.

Their strategic seating was also a planned move to block his view of critics.

Her intentions were outlined in messages she sent to workers that were obtained by Hawaii News Now.

In a letter dated May 24, the ethics commission said while it is OK to drum up support for nominees, Maeska-Hirata’s actions “raised serious ethics questions” that made some employees feel coerced.

Maesaka-Hirata won’t face any repercussions as a result of her actions.

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