Fine is likely for
Aduja campaign

A settlement would penalize
the senator for fund violations

State Sen. Melodie Aduja would pay a fine to settle an investigation by the Campaign Spending Commission of her campaign fund under a recommendation by Executive Director Bob Watada.

"I have to come up with some number," Watada said.

However, he is not saying what amount he is going to recommend at Wednesday's commission meeting.

"My preference is to have it resolved as soon as possible," said Aduja (D, Kahuku-Kaneohe), who is campaigning for re-election.

Watada said he is presenting a proposed settlement agreement to the commission without Aduja's signature.

In the past, Watada presented signed settlement agreements to the commission for the members to approve. But commissioners complained that made them appear to be a rubber-stamping body when they voted. By presenting the commission with just his recommendation, the commissioners can accept it, propose their own settlement, decide to hold a contested-case hearing or refer the matter for prosecution, Watada said.

Aduja's attorney William Harrison said he does not know what Watada is going to recommend. But he said Watada's latest offer was for Aduja to reimburse her campaign whatever amount is in question and to pay a $4,500 fine.

The commission filed a formal complaint against Aduja in July alleging she failed to turn over records for its investigation into more than $30,000 in campaign payments to her ex-husband, who was deputy chairman of her campaign committee.

Aduja's ex-husband, Lee Williams, was arrested in April in a Chinatown drug raid.

At the commission's August meeting, Aduja asked the commissioners for more time to submit records. At the time, Harrison said the lawmaker had submitted records covering all but between $1,000 and $1,500.



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