Thursday, July 12, 2001

City Councilman Andy Mirikitani arrived yesterday at
City Hall for a Council meeting. He was talking
with Councilman Gary Okino.

Mirikitani returns
to City Council seat

The convicted Council member
wants to push through a park
for his constituents

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Honolulu City Council members tried their best to go about their business as usual yesterday amid the commotion surrounding the return of Councilman Andy Mirikitani.

Mirikitani made his first appearance at City Hall since his conviction July 3 on charges that he gave two aides bonuses and then received kickbacks. State law allows him to remain on the Council until his sentencing, which is scheduled for Dec. 4.

On Monday, Mirikitani, who represents the Manoa, Makiki, McCully-Moiliili and Ala Moana neighborhoods, announced that he will step down from his committee assignments but continue to attend full Council meetings and draw his $42,500 annual salary.

That decision came despite calls for his resignation by several of his colleagues, including Council Chairman Jon Yoshimura.

"Good morning," Mirikitani said as he brushed by a gauntlet of reporters while making his way from his second-floor office to the third-floor Council chambers.

He was greeted inside by Councilman Gary Okino and then shook hands with Councilman Romy Cachola, who sits next to him.

"We're all human beings," Okino said afterward.

While Mirikitani declined to answer reporters' questions, he visited Okino in his office after the day's proceedings.

"He said he wanted to do a few things for his constituents before he leaves," Okino said.

Among them is push through legislation that would pave the way for a park to be placed in Pawaa at the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and King Street.

City & County of Honolulu

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