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Awana stepping down as House majority floor leader

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State Rep. Karen Awana has resigned her position as a leader among state House Democrats amid revelations that she is facing a fourth fine for not properly disclosing her campaign fundraising and expenses.

House Speaker Joe Souki announced Awana’s resignation as House majority flood leader late this afternoon.

“I appreciate all that Rep. Awana has done for the House and after much consideration I have accepted her resignation so that she may focus on rectifying her situation,” Souki said in a news release. “It is my hope that we can move ahead so that we may name her chair of the newly created Committee on Culture and the Arts & International Affairs in the upcoming legislative session.”

Staff at the state Campaign Spending Commission brought a complaint against Awana for filing false or inaccurate disclosure reports, untimely deposits of campaign contributions, and failure to keep campaign-finance records. The staff has recommended that the commission assess an $8,590 fine against the representative, the highest penalty she has faced.

The commission is scheduled to review the complaint at its meeting on Wednesday.

Awana (D, Kalaleloa-Ko Olina-Maili) did not respond to messages left with her and her staff seeking comment. She reported raising $22,532 for her re-election campaign last year. At the end of June, her campaign had $18,477 in cash on hand.

The commission has previously issued fines of $400, $6,800 and $1,900 against Awana for campaign-finance violations.

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