EXCLUSIVE: Cal Lee faces $2,500 fine

EXCLUSIVE: Cal Lee faces $2,500 fine

The state Campaign Spending Commission plans to fine long-time football coach Cal Lee $2,500.

The commission says Lee committed 25 violations during his unsuccessful run for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board last year.

"There were I believe 25 loans that put him above the $10,000 limit so we consider that 25 different violations of our campaign spending law," said Gary Kam, the commission's general counsel.

According to the commission, Lee received about $23,000 in loans from two companies: Geothermal developer Innovations Development Group and locally based Honua Group.

State law places a $10,000 limit on such loans.

The commission says that Lee repaid about half of the loans.

"You have a systemic pattern of violations. It's not one or two things. It's quite a few," said Hawaii Pacific University Professor John Hart.

"You would want to know what does the company have to benefit to have this particular candidate elected."

As head football coach at Saint Louis School, Lee's teams won more than 200 games and 14 Prep Bowls.

But that success on the gridiron did not transfer to the political arena.

His campaign for OHA trustee this past November fell short by more than 24,000 votes.

Officials with Lee's campaign did not return our calls.

Lee must now pay the fine, negotiate a settlement or contest it before the Campaign Spending Commission's board.

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