City aide challenges
Aduja over ethics

The complaint faults a letter from
the senator to her constituents

Steve Holmes, an executive assistant for Mayor Jeremy Harris, has filed an ethics complaint against Windward Sen. Melodie Aduja, alleging that his former political opponent is using state money to campaign for re-election.

Aduja, according to Holmes, misused her "official position by including campaign material in her official state sponsored and financed newsletter."

In the complaint filed with the Ethics Commission, Holmes said Aduja's official newsletter last month included a reference to her campaign Web site.

"I would ask that the Ethics Commission take a hard stand on this violation and send a strong message to others in the Legislature to not abuse their office," said Holmes.

Aduja (D, Kahuku-Kaneohe) responded that she had done nothing wrong and denied violating any state ethics laws.

The Web page address was included, Aduja said, to give constituents another way to contact her because her e-mail addresses were on her Web page.

But, Aduja added, the Web page is not working and hasn't been working for a month.

Holmes, who had previously filed an ethics complaint against Aduja when he successfully defeated her in a 1998 City Council race, said he was reluctant to file the complaint, but he could not get any citizens reform group such as Common Cause to do so.

Senators are allowed to use funds from their $5,000 Senate spending allowance to pay for printing and mailing of official newsletters.

According to a Senate spokeswoman, senators are prohibited from mailing newsletters with state funds after July 30. Aduja's newsletter was printed and mailed before the cut-off.

In 1998, the Campaign Spending Commission censured Aduja, saying she violated the state fair campaign practices code. She had published newspaper ads featuring unflattering pictures of public projects in Holmes' district and blamed the councilman for their condition.

Holmes and his supporters said he was not responsible for the condition of the parks and the ads were misleading and false.

This year the commission filed a formal complaint against Aduja, alleging that the lawmaker has not turned over records for its investigation into more than $30,000 in campaign payments to her ex-husband.

Hawaii State Ethics Commission



E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com