State looking for a few ethical people

Ethics, those moral principles that guide our behavior, are important, right?

And almost everyone thinks they are among the most ethical people you will ever meet. Just ask them.

We can all agree the world could certainly use more ethical people. But do we agree on what “ethical” means?

According to the “Collins English Dictionary,” “ethical” means:

1. having to do with ethics or morality; of or conforming to moral standards

2. conforming to the standards of conduct of a given profession or group

“The Business Dictionary” has this to say about “ethical:”

“Equitable, fair, and just dealing with people that, although pragmatically flexible according to the situation and times, conforms to self-imposed high standards of public conduct. Once practically interchangeable with ‘moral,’ this term has acquired quasi-legal connotations and has moved closer to ‘legitimate’ following the recent (second half of the 20th century) schism between private morality and public morality.”

Not so easy to say what’s ethical these days, as it seems to depends on one’s standards. Either way, if you’re one of those ethical people, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission wants to hear from you.

The Judicial Council is seeking applicants to fill one upcoming vacancy on the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. The term will run from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2023.

Members of the commission serve on a voluntary basis. Travel expenses incurred by Neighbor Island commissioners to attend meetings on Oahu will be reimbursed.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, residents of the state, and may not hold any other public office.

The Ethics Commission addresses ethical issues involving legislators, registered lobbyists, and state employees (with the exception of judges, who are governed by the Commission on Judicial Conduct). The five commission members are responsible for investigating complaints, providing advisory opinions, and enforcing decisions issued by the commission. The Hawaii State Constitution prohibits members of the State Ethics Commission from taking an active part in political management or political campaigns.

The Judicial Council nominates two individuals for each vacancy on the commission. The nominees’ names are sent to the governor, who selects one of the nominees for appointment.

Interested persons should submit applications along with resumes and three letters of recommendation (attesting to the applicant’s character and integrity) postmarked by Feb. 28, to: Judicial Council, Hawaii Supreme Court, 417 S. King Street, Second Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813-2902.

Applications are available on the state Judiciary website or by calling the Judicial Council at (808) 539-4702.

Some of our brightest minds have tackled the significance of ethics. Here is what a few of them had to say:

w “History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them.” — B. R. Ambedkar

w “The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.” — Albert Schweitzer

w “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” — Thomas A. Edison

w “Ethics are more important than laws.” — Wynton Marsalis

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