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Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Frustrated with Caldwell: Ethics Director Resigns after 16 Years
By News Release @ 11:47 PM :: 3325 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics

Ethics Commission Executive Director Chuck Totto Stepping Down

News Release from Honolulu Ethics Commission, June 15, 2016

HONOLULU, HI - Charles Totto announced today he is stepping down from being the Executive Director and Legal Counsel for the City and County of Honolulu's Ethics Commission, effective immediately. Totto had been in the position for over 16 years.

"I feel compelled to step down because I disagree with the direction the Commission is taking," Totto said. "I have been privileged to serve the people of Honolulu during a turbulent time when the public and government workers demanded higher standards of integrity from city officials. I give my thanks and fondest aloha to our loyal staff, the Commission members and the vast majority of city officials and employees. You championed advanced ethics training, prompt ethics advice, and building dedicated investigation and enforcement programs. Our many successes could not have been accomplished without your support and dedication."

Totto began working for the Ethics Commission as its Executive Director and Legal Counsel in April 2000. He was responsible for training and educating all City and County of Honolulu officers and employees about ethics laws and bow to make ethical decisions. Additional duties included responding to requests for ethics advice, enforcing ethics laws, working on rules and legislation to improve ethics laws and procedures, regulating lobbyists and monitoring the filing of annual financial reports.

Ethics Commission Chair Victoria Marks, speaking on behalf of all commissioners said, "We thank Chuck for all his years of dedicated public service and his stalwart efforts to educate the employees of the City and County of Honolulu about ethics. He brought a passion and unwavering dedication to the Ethics Commission. His contributions will reverberate for years to come. We wish him and his family well." “The City and County of Honolulu and its citizens were extremely fortunate to have Chuck's hard work and dedicated services for so many years," added Vice-Chair Michael Lilly. "He has had a profoundly positive impact on the work of all of the City's employees and officers."

Totto leaves with almost 30 years of public service. He previously worked as the State Utilities Consumer Advocate and as an attorney in the State Office of Consumer Protection.

Chuck Totto's list of "Accomplishments of the Honolulu Ethics Commission: 2000-2015" will be available at:

This list does not necessarily reflect the position of the Ethics Commission.

PDF: Honolulu Ethics Commission Statement, June 15, 2016


Related: Djou: We should be strengthening our ethics commission, not dismantling it

SA: Honolulu Ethics Commission ‘Completely Void of Key Personnel’

KHON: Totto’s relationship with the city administration was contentious from the beginning with questions about funding by lobbyists for the mayor’s inaugural luau.

HNN: Totto said one reason for his resignation is the adversarial relationship with the administration of Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

CB: Chuck Totto said he was micromanaged and had “many, many problems” dealing with the administration of Mayor Kirk Caldwell. 

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