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Committee to investigate conflicting accounts of lawmaker’s drunken driving arrest

Updated: Mar. 18, 2021 at 10:38 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - House Speaker Scott Saiki will create a special committee to investigate the alleged misconduct of state Rep. Sharon Har.

Har was arrested on Feb. 22 after officers spotted her driving the wrong way in the center lane of Beretania Street near Piikoi Street. Police said the 52-year-old lawmaker smelled of alcohol but she declined to take a field sobriety test.

Two days after her arrest, Har apologized to her colleagues on the House floor, saying that a codeine medication contributed to her erratic driving.

But police body camera video later showed that Har had told officers that she was not sick and was not taking medication.

“The apology and statements made afterwards didn’t seem to match up with the pictures and the voice recordings,” said Mike Golojuch Sr., who asked the House to investigate Har.

Golojuch — a constituent in Har’s district whose son has run against Har — also cited Har’s refusal to be tested for alcohol.

The special House Committee will now looking into Har’s conflicting accounts and, depending on its findings, could recommend disciplinary action.

The committee could recommend a range of penalties, including censure, which requires approval from a majority of the House and suspension or expulsion, which requires a two-thirds vote.

State Rep. James Tokioka said the House should let Har have her day in court first. “That court date will happen, and I think this body should consider from that point going forward,” Tokioka said.

Neither Har nor her attorney would comment on the decision to investigate.

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