Ethics panel puts
skids on Manshos
The Council member is toldBy Harold Morse
to stop driving the vehicle and
to pay lease rent for past use
The city Ethics Commission has short-circuited City Councilwoman Rene Mansho's discounted use of a private electric car.
The commission in a ruling to be released today says Mansho is giving the Hawaii Global Electric Motorcars dealer an unfair publicity advantage to encourage purchases over other providers of alternative-power vehicles.
Mansho had advocated that the city buy electric vehicles.
Mansho said the Ethics Commission gave her a letter with two recommendations:
Don't use the vehicle.Councilwoman Donna Mercado Kim said she made the query of the Ethics Commission because "I was concerned that a particular company was being given publicity by a Council member."
Reimburse the company for the accumulated fair market lease rental cost.
Kim said she believed it improper that Mansho was using "city offices and city property" to spotlight the electric vehicles and the company, which Mansho has insisted is being used as a demonstration vehicle.
Mansho said: "Subsequent to that I returned the electric vehicle to the GEM dealer and I asked them for accounting of the lease rent.
"They're going to work on that and I'll reimburse them for that."
But she's not done with electric transportation, she said.
"Because I really love that car, I plan to purchase an electrical vehicle for my personal vehicle. In that way it will no longer be a company vehicle. It will be my personal vehicle. That's my plan," she said.
"I respect the Ethics Commission's efforts to clarify this issue. However, I strongly disagree that Council members can influence any city purchases," Mansho said.
The state procurement law requires sealed bids, she said.
"I can in no way influence a sealed bids process," she said. "That to me was the only misunderstanding on the Ethic Commission's part."
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