Djou hits Tam plan to cancel allowance


POSTED: Monday, March 15, 2010

City Councilman Charles Djou says fellow Council member Rod Tam is trying to deflect attention from Tam's “;theft”; and “;unethical behavior”; by introducing a resolution to eliminate the allowance he misused.

Djou said if Tam does not know how to use the allowance, he can simply not use it.

“;You don't need a resolution,”; he said yesterday. “;He can do it right now.”;

Tam held a news conference in Chinatown yesterday to announce his resolution to eliminate the allowance. He said rules for the use of the funds are too confusing.

“;So that we don't have any more problems in the future, I say, well, let's get rid of it,”; he said.

Earlier this month, Tam agreed to pay $13,700 to settle city Ethics Commission charges that he improperly billed the city for “;hundreds”; of meals totaling more than $22,000 that were not related to his city work.

Yesterday, Tam again blamed math errors and poor record-keeping for the improper billing, which included a Valentine's Day dinner for four that was claimed as a business dinner.

Tam, who represents the Council district from downtown to Kalihi, said he will now use his own money when he meets with constituents over meals and deduct the expense from his taxes.

Tam, who barred by term limits from seeking re-election, plans to run for mayor.

The City Council will hear a resolution Wednesday to censure Tam. It asks for Tam to resign and for the state attorney general to investigate Tam's ethics breaches.

“;Rod Tam's behavior is unacceptable and unwelcome at Honolulu Hale,”; said Djou, who introduced the resolution.