The Hawai‘i Ethics Commission and the Commissioners who volunteer to help safeguard the public trust by promoting, educating, and enforcing the highest standards of ethical conduct in state governance were honored today by the Hawai‘i State Senate. This year marks the 50th year of the establishment of the State Ethics Commission.
On the floor, recognized for their service: Commissioner Rey Graulty, Chair, a former State legislator and he also served as State Insurance Commissioner, Circuit Court Judge, and Ethics Professor at Chaminade University; Commissioner Ruth Tschumy, Vice Chair, a retired educator, author, member of many non-profit boards, and volunteer mediator with the Mediation Center of the Pacific; Commissioner Melinda Wood, a community volunteer, former immigration specialist, and retired East-West Center grants specialist; Commissioner David O’Neal, General Manager of Mililani Town Association and previously worked in the healthcare industry; and Commissioner Susan DeGuzman, a retired state judiciary employee of 30 years.
Also recognized was Ethics Commission Executive Director Daniel Gluck and Associate Director Susan Yoza. Prior to taking the helm of the Ethics Commission, Gluck served as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) legal director for ten years. Yoza, an attorney, has been with the Ethics Commission since 1986 and has served as the Associate Director since 1987.
The 1967 bill that established the State Ethics Commission passed without much fanfare. However, over the years, the Commission has worked hard on the difficult ethical issues that comes with public service. In its first 10 years, the Ethics Commission issued over 1,350 formal and informal opinions, many of which are still effective today. Hawai‘i was also a national leader after the 1970’s Watergate scandal — helping form what’s known today as COGEL, the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws.