Kahele faces House ethics probe over bills he co-sponsored that benefited airlines
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two months after coming in at a distant third in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele is now facing an ethics probe.
The Office of Congressional Ethics last week recommended that the full House Ethics Committee investigate possible conflicts involving Kahele.
“If they’re moving it forward ... there is some grounds to say that there’s been an ethical violation,” said Colin Moore, a University of Hawaii political science professor.
The inquiry comes after a nonprofit political watchdog group — the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust — filed a complaint against Kahele in April, alleging that he co-sponsored four bills that benefitted the airline industry and his employer Hawaiian Airlines.
Kahele is a pilot with Hawaiian and his wife also works there.
Kahele came in third in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in August behind Lt. Gov. Josh Green and businesswoman Vicky Cayetano.
His office did not respond to our inquiry today. Hawaiian Air also had no comment.
The House Ethics Committee said it will announce its findings on the complaint on Nov. 28th.
“Sometimes the House Committee decides that these matters are not worthy. They don’t reach the level where discipline is necessary,” Moore said.
But if the committee finds that complaint has merit, Moore said the allegations could continue to tarnish his image — even if he is no longer in Congress.
“If they do make a ruling ... then it could become very difficult for Congressman Kahele to run for (another) office,” Moore said.
Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.