Ethics agreement includes $1,000 fine
Sen. English admits no wrongdoing in taking free flights
State Sen. J. Kalani English has agreed to pay $1,000 as part of a settlement with the state Ethics Commission but has admitted no wrongdoing in taking free Hawaii Air Ambulance flights while also accepting state-funded air coupons for interisland trips.
English, a Maui Democrat, failed to reimburse the state Senate in 2002 for at least two flight coupons. He also did not report the free flights on state ethics gift disclosure forms.
In the settlement, English admitted he had taken an unspecified number of flights between Oahu and Maui on Hawaii Air Ambulance.
He also said he stayed at the Honolulu condominium of Andrew Kluger, Hawaii Air Ambulance's chief executive officer, and drove Kluger's car while the businessman was on the mainland.
English did not return messages left on his cell phone last night.
State Ethics Commission documents show English deposited $1,000 into the state General Fund on Wednesday, when the settlement was reached.
Under the agreement, English does not admit to any "willful misconduct" or "violation of statute."
News of English's trips on Hawaii Air Ambulance came out in January. He told the Star-Bulletin that he did not know what had happened to the flight coupons he should have returned.
He also said he was never on a "special" air ambulance flight, but hitched a ride "if they brought the patient" and were flying back.
He did not report the flights, he said, because he considered them similar to "hitchhiking or getting a lift home."
In 2002, when English flew on Hawaii Air Ambulance, the state Legislature was considering changes in air ambulance regulations. English supported the ambulance service but has said the decision was not affected by the free flights.
It is unclear when English stayed in Kluger's home and used his car. Kluger could not be reached for comment yesterday.