Thursday, March 22, 2018

Former House Speaker Souki denies wrongdoing in sexual harassment case, full text of his statement; Big Island official loses lawsuit over sexual harassment complaint, no taxpayer attorney for Honolulu former police chief, trespassers ousted from Coco Palms land, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy photo
Joe Souki, courtesy photo
Former House Speaker Joseph Souki said the accusations of sexual harassment against him are all three to eight years old, and he has “absolutely no memory of ever acting in inappropriately with any woman at any time, as a member of the House or in a private setting.” Star-Advertiser.

Joe Souki: I’m Sorry But I Don’t Remember Doing It. The 84-year-old longtime Maui lawmaker insisted Wednesday he’s never acted badly toward women even though he’s resigning. Civil Beat.

A former speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives will resign by next week to resolve sexual harassment allegations brought by several women, the latest case of an elected official being forced from office over misconduct. Associated Press.

Former state House Speaker Joe Souki will resign as part of a settlement over sexual harassment complaints, but maintains he didn't do anything wrong. Hawaii News Now.

Accused of sexual harassment, long-time Maui lawmaker Joe Souki announced his resignation. KITV.

Speaker Emeritus Rep. Joe Souki is stepping down as a result of sexual harassment claims made against him. KHON2.

A kiss, a hug lead to former House speaker’s downfall. Souki admits ‘inappropriate and unwelcome’ contact with several women. Maui News.

Rep. Joe Souki, D–Wailuku, who was first elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives in 1982, will resign from the House no later than Mar. 30, pay a $5,000 penalty, issue a public apology and not accept any public office for two years. MauiTime.

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission has concluded its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by former House Speaker Joseph Souki who will be forced to resign from public office next week. Pacific Business News.

Full text of Ethics Commission Souki settlement here.

Full text of Souki's statement here.

Lawmakers accused of sexual harassment remain under wraps. Rep. Joe Souki’s resignation to resolve sex harassment complaints has focused renewed attention on the behavior of state legislators, especially in light of the #MeToo movement nationally. Star-Advertiser.

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The Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet behind closed doors today to discuss the contract of CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe. Star-Advertiser.

DOE Official Slapped With Ethics Fine Is Reassigned. Suzanne Mulcahy, who was an assistant superintendent on the central leadership team, was shifted to an interim principal position. Civil Beat.

The state House Finance Committee passed a bill Wednesday that includes an amendment that would prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos beginning Jan. 1, 2019, but provides an exemption for farmers for a three-year period if they provide public disclosure. Garden Island.

Airport authority bill may be catalyst for state procurement code changes. Pacific Business News.

State, Counties Weigh Options for Abandoned Vehicles. Complaints about junked cars in neighborhoods across the state hit a crescendo last year. Hawaii Public Radio.

Legislation to ban tobacco products on all 10 University of Hawaii campuses and raise the cigarette tax to the highest in the nation is closer to becoming law. Star-Advertiser.

Should smoking be banned at the University of Hawaii? The school already has rules against smoking at Manoa and Kapiolani Community College but lawmakers want to expand the ban across all of UH's campuses. KITV.

In the minutes after the false missile alert went to all Hawaii phones, fear and disbelief quickly turned to anger as residents learned that the warning about an inbound ballistic missile had been sent in error, newly released 911 calls show. Hawaii News Now.

The Honolulu Police Department released recordings of a handful of 911 calls made after a false missile alert was sent to cell phones across the state earlier this year. KHON2.

Real estate foreclosures declined in Hawaii for a fourth consecutive year in 2017, according to statistics from the state Judiciary. Star-Advertiser.

Suddenly predatory mice are attacking nesting albatross on Midway Atoll – the largest albatross colony in the world — prompting a plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the “house mouse” population using rodenticide and trapping. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Former Police Chief Louis Kealoha won't get a taxpayer-funded attorney to defend him in court in a civil lawsuit over the alleged mailbox frame-up. Hawaii News Now.

The City will not be paying for an attorney to defend retired Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha in a civil suit involving his stolen mail box. KHON2.

University of Hawaii researchers are teaming up with a farm on Oahu’s west side to study how people’s connection with the land affects their health. Civil Beat.

The public is advised to stay out of the Waimalu Stream following a spill of raw sewage. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

A 12-year-old chapter in Hawaii County’s political history has closed with an appellate court order and a former county official deciding not to pursue further litigation. At issue was an appeal by former County Council chairman and Hilo mayoral candidate Stacy Higa, who sued the county for legal malpractice after an employment complaint alleged he sexually harassed an aide. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim is asking for help from the state to expedite the emergency shelter aspect of the proposed Village 9 homeless site off Kealakehe Parkway in Kailua-Kona. West Hawaii Today.

After two years of use, a program that allows Hawaii residents to text 911 in case of emergency has seen little use on Hawaii Island. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Hawaiian Sovereignty Protest Gets Hana Student Suspended. A high school student was disciplined for rearranging the school flagpole to fly the Hawaiian flag above the U.S. flag. Civil Beat.

A Haleakala telescope protester who asserted his right to speak in the Hawaiian language in court earlier this year was granted an interpreter Wednesday in Wailuku District Court. Maui News.

Complaint Inspection Finds No Violations at KFC Kahului. Maui Now.

Kauai

Five people were removed from two parcels of state land Wednesday morning. No one was cited or arrested. Garden Island.

Two dozen officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, the Kaua‘i Police Department and State Sheriffs removed five people from two parcels of DLNR land this morning, Wednesday, March 21. Big Island Now.

Coco Palms Battle Is A New Front In An Old War. More protesters were removed from an encampment near the iconic resort Wednesday as Kauai officials fend off esoteric legal claims. Civil Beat.

A short-term reduction on the alcohol federal excise tax has bolstered Kauai-based Koloa Rum Company’s 2017 financials and allowed for bonuses to its 33 employees. Pacific Business News.