Subpoenaed executive
rebuffs Campaign
Spending Commission

By Rick Daysog

The state Campaign Spending Commission has opened an investigation into a local contractor linked to the campaigns of several isle Democrats.

The commission recently subpoenaed Mitsunaga & Associates Inc. executive Terri Ann Otani for an interview last week, according to people familiar with the state probe.

But Otani declined to appear, citing her constitutional right against self-incrimination.

Otani's attorney, David Gierlach, said his client has no plans to testify before the commission. He declined further comment. Bob Watada, the commission's executive director, also declined comment.

State business records list Otani as secretary, treasurer and director of Mitsunaga & Associates, a local architecture and structural engineering firm.

Otani also assisted the political fund-raising efforts of Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris, Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana and Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono's aborted 2002 mayoral campaign.

Mitsunaga & Associates is headed by Dennis Mitsunaga, a friend of Gov. Ben Cayetano. Since 1994, Mitsunaga & Associates has received more than $8.3 million in state contracts and $3.6 million in city contracts.

Mitsunaga also is at the center of a dispute between and the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state Housing and Community Development Corp. of Hawaii, which is headed by Mitsunaga's ex-wife, Sharyn Miyashiro.

HUD has criticized a $771,000 nonbid contract to Mitsunaga's company, Punaluu Builders Inc. and has called for the resignation of the state agency's board by Nov. 15. Cayetano said the report was politically motivated.

Campaign Spending Commission

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