State briefs for June 6

Councilman files complaint against appointee

HONOLULU — A Honolulu councilman filed an ethics complaint claiming a mayor’s appointee used city resources to support his political opponent.

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Councilman Trevor Ozawa claims Misty Kela‘i, the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, used that agency’s Instagram account to “like” posts made by Tommy Waters, who is challenging Ozawa for his council seat.

Kela‘i also used the account to post a favorable comment for Waters on one of his photos, Ozawa said. The likes and comment were since removed.

The posts by the agency’s Instagram account were in violation of city charter provisions, Ozawa said. He filed a complaint with the city ethics commission last month.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Jan Yamane said she could not confirm receiving the complaint.

The office of Mayor Kirk Caldwell is aware of the complaint. Kela‘i did not immediately respond to email and phone messages seeking comment. City spokesman Andrew Pereira said she had no immediate comment.

Investigators: Plane in crash was too heavy

HONOLULU — A single-engine aircraft that crashed in a mountainous area on Oahu, killing all four people aboard last year, was over its weight limit when it took off, according to federal investigators.

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board found the Beech 19A airplane was overweight by 61 pounds when it crashed in July 2017 near Waipio, Oahu.

An examination of the aircraft wreckage showed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or other failures that would have hindered normal operations, according to recently made public NTSB documents.

The plane, which was manufactured in 1969, took off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and headed northwest. The 29-year-old pilot made three loops in the air before crashing at the remote Pohakea Pass about 15 minutes after takeoff, according to the report.

The Coast Guard located the wreckage the next day in a steep area. The plane crashed into densely-vegetated terrain about 50 feet below a ridge.

The bodies of pilot Dean Hutton and his passengers, Heather Riley, 27, Alexis Aaron, 32, and Gerrit Evensen, 28, were recovered the day after the crash.

The wreckage was left at the crash site in the state-owned Honouliuli Forest Reserve.

Ex-lawmaker enters race for US House

HONOLULU — Former U.S. Rep. Ed Case is setting his sights again on the House of Representatives.

The state Office of Elections website has the Democrat listed in the contest for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District, which encompasses the densely-populated urban areas of Honolulu. Six other Democrats are in the race, including former Attorney General and current Lt. Gov. Doug Chin.

Fellow Democrat Colleen Hanabusa, who currently represents the district, is running for governor.

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Case represented Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District from 2002-07. In 2006, he unsuccessfully challenged then-Sen. Daniel Akaka in the Democratic primary.

The primary election is Aug. 11.

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