Wednesday, August 1, 2001

City & County of Honolulu

Mansho’s trips
to mainland are
on taxpayers’ tab

Mayor Harris also reports
receiving some trips as gifts

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

City Councilwoman Rene Mansho continued to attend mainland maritime meetings and other conferences at taxpayers' expense in the past year despite recent scrutiny about other trips she has taken.

In an annual gift disclosure report filed yesterday, Mansho reported that she went on four mainland trips paid by the federal government and a fifth trip financed by a national nonprofit agency.

Mansho said last night all five trips are related to her Council duties. She was invited to each of them, she said, because "these people value my service and dedication."

Three of the trips were to meetings of the U.S. Maritime Administration's Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council, of which she is an appointed member. The agency paid $1,850-plus for air fare, hotels and meals for meetings held in Washington, D.C., Charleston, S.C., and Kings Point, N.Y., Mansho reported.

A fourth trip, listed at $200-plus, was a visit to San Diego military installations that was paid for by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Hawaii Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The committee, she said, encourages employers to support those in military reserve and guard units.

The fifth trip, listed at $450, was as a delegate to a "campaign college" in Los Angeles, sponsored by the National Foundation for Women Legislators. Mansho said the event happened during the 2000 National Democratic Convention and that she paid for part of the trip.

Mansho's trips to National Association of Counties conferences on the mainland and Hawaii State Association of Counties meetings on the neighbor islands contributed to her troubles with two separate government agencies this past year.

The state Campaign Spending Commission slapped her with a $40,000 fine earlier this year for misspending campaign funds, including getting paid for the trips while also receiving reimbursements from the Council for the same travel without paying back the campaign account.

The City Council, meanwhile, is collecting an additional $40,000 from Mansho as reimbursement for misusing staff time after the Ethics Commission found she made several breaches including misusing her staff and resources for noncity purposes.

Mansho was the only Council member to report trips as gifts.

Mayor Jeremy Harris reported attending three conferences outside Hawaii at others' expense: The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives executive committee meeting in New Zealand ($1,400), the Roundtable of Eminent Persons, United Nations European and North American Roundtable on Sustainable Development Summit in Colorado ($675), and the Governing Magazine eGovernment Conference in Colorado ($1,546).

City spokeswoman Carol Costa said the mayor spoke at each of the conferences.

City & County of Honolulu

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin