07-09Posted on May 11, 2007 in Formal Opinions
Opinion Letter No. 07-09
May 11, 2007
The Ethics Commission, City and County of Honolulu, asked whether the UIPA required public disclosure of the Commission’s advisory opinion identifying an employee who the Commission concluded had violated ethics laws, where the employee was not suspended or discharged from employment for that misconduct.
OIP concluded that although the employee retained a significant privacy interest in records or information relating to the misconduct in question because the employee was not suspended or terminated, the employee’s privacy interest was diminished by the Commission’s determination that the employee had engaged in misconduct warranting suspension. Further, the employing department’s handling of the matter by instituting lesser discipline while the Commission was still investigating heightened the public interest. Thus the public interest in information about the employee’s misconduct (including the employee’s identity) outweighed the employee’s privacy interest in this case and required disclosure of the advisory opinion in full.