Candidate for governor responds to signs that accuse him of domestic violence

Updated: May. 31, 2018 at 5:50 PM HST
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EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dozens of bright yellow signs and banners accusing candidate for governor Clayton Hee of domestic violence greeted east Honolulu commuters on Thursday morning.

The signs were posted in several spots along Kalanianaole Highway.

Now, the former state senator says he's a victim of negative and illegal campaigning and says he may sue.

A newly-formed political action committee called Women Against Domestic Violence Hawaii is behind the campaign against Hee.

The allegations stem from 1989 divorce documents where Hee's ex wife, Lyla Berg, accused him of verbal and physical abuse.

"All I've done is quote public documents and provided information that is contained in public documents," said Megan Kau, chairwoman of Women Against Domestic Violence Hawaii. "I understand that his ex-wife did not press charges and there were no criminal charges, but that being said, she's the one that made the allegations. I did not make the allegations."

Hee says the allegations are untrue, and that it's unfortunate something as personal as divorce documents would be used against him.

"As judiciary chairman, I passed as many domestic violence laws as any lawmaker ever. I have never been arrested. I've never had a TRO. There's not even a police report that's has ever been filed. So it's all concocted. They know it," Hee said.

Kau, a former Honolulu deputy prosecutor, says she is a victim of harassment.

While she says she has never met Hee, she says she formed the committee back in March after learning he was running for governor.

"People like me will stick up for the people that can't stick up for themselves. If somebody came forward and told me that somebody else that was running for a position had a background that needed to be disclosed to the public, I would do the same thing," said Kau.

Hee says he filed a police report and officers removed many of the illegal signs that were on public property.

He's convinced one of his opponents in the Democratic primary is behind this.

"It's so disappointing that one of my friends who I served in the senate with would stoop to this level. This didn't come out of thin air. This isn't some kind of epiphany that occurred," Hee said.

But Kau disputes that.

"There's nobody behind the movement. It's just friends of mine who donated money, and we paid for some posters. We're getting information out. That's all it is," Kau said.

In a statement, a spokesman for Colleen Hanabusa's gubernatorial campaign says they had no knowledge of the signs. He says their campaign "urges all candidates to run a clean election based on debate of the issues."

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