At least $90,000 repaid
by ex-Inouye treasurer
No charges are filed against the
senator's former campaign aide
The former treasurer for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's re-election campaign has repaid between $90,000 and $100,000 she took improperly, says the current treasurer.
The matter is closed, and no criminal charges were filed against the former treasurer, Theresa Blanco, according to Calvert Chipchase III, who took over as treasurer last year.
Blanco had been treasurer until July 2002. She is the wife of Joe Blanco, a highly placed adviser to former Gov. Ben Cayetano. She was also a key volunteer in U.S. Rep. Ed Case's unsuccessful Democratic campaign for governor last year.
Theresa Blanco was not available for comment yesterday.
"I would consider the matter closed," Chipchase said yesterday.
No other action is expected, he said.
"According to our campaign's attorney, the campaign itself is not required to file either a police or FBI report," Chipchase said.
In a notice filed with the Federal Election Commission last December, Chipchase said there had been "an unauthorized withdrawal of committee funds and repayment of such funds by the committee's former treasurer, Theresa Blanco."
Yesterday, officials in Inouye's Washington, D.C., office directed inquires to Chipchase.
No explanation was given for why the money was taken, Chipchase said. He said, however, that while the total withdrawn was between $90,000 and $100,000, "at one time there was never $100,000 of debt."
He termed the withdrawals as "expenditures from the account that were not campaign-related." The expenditures were also not related to any other campaign, Chipchase said.
Inouye reports having $307,235 in cash on hand for his 2004 re-election campaign and has raised $559,073 in the 1999-2004 campaign period, according FEC reports.
FEC reports show Joe Blanco gave Inouye $1,600 in 1998.
Last year, Theresa Blanco served as the volunteer campaign scheduler for Case's campaign for governor.
She and her husband also donated $1,000 each to his state race.
Joe Blanco is a former chairman of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and is a director of Central Pacific Bank, Straub Hospital and the YMCA of Honolulu.
He served as Cayetano's special adviser for technology from 1999 to 2002.