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Kawananakoa’s lawsuit opposing City Council rail votes dismissed

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A lawsuit that sought to invalidate key Honolulu City Council votes cast for the rail project was dismissed in state Circuit Court this morning.

Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall granted the city’s motion to dismiss the case brought by Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa. The lawsuit demanded that key Council votes be declared void and unenforceable, and that funding tied to those approvals be stopped because a majority of Council members who voted on them should have had their votes nullified.

The city argued that the Honolulu City Charter is clear that the Honolulu Ethics Commission administers the city’s standards of conduct and that it was out of the jurisdiction of the courts to compel the commission to take certain actions.

The commission settled charges against former Council members Romy Cachola and Nestor Garcia, and dismissed cases against current Council members Ikaika Anderson and Ann Kobayashi, as well as former Council members Todd Apo and Donovan Dela Cruz.

The charges alleged that they failed to disclose receiving free golf and meals from lobbyists and others who benefited from the votes the Council had taken and approved.

At the time the lawsuit was filed in September, the cases against Anderson, Apo, Dela Cruz and Kobayashi were still pending before the commission.

Corporation Counsel Donna Leong, in a statement, said she was pleased by the ruling. “It provides assurances to the people of the city that the City Council’s legislative actions, many of which involve complex policy decisions, such as the rail project, will not be overturned by the judicial branch of government based on an alleged violation of the standards of conduct,” Leong said.

An attorney for Kawanakoa said she intends to appeal the case. “Ms. Kawananakoa has known from Day 1 that this issue isn’t going to be resolved until an appellate court rules on it,” attorney James Bickerton said.

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  • West side residents need rail as a relief to driving in horrendous traffic. We have made great progress with the rail and just need to keep moving forward for our children and grandchildren.

    • ukuleleblue ENUFF with the tired “children and grandchildren” This entire project has been SUSPECT from the get go. Poorly worded ballot question, blanks or no vote counted as Yes, how is that legal? Corrupt votes, Nestor Garcia, Romy Cachola and Todd Apo. Nestor is Oahu’s version of Hillary, LIES and Corruption!

      Breaking ground “Hawaiian Style” with o’o stick – what a joke!

      Hiring Grabby from a FAILED project in Boston. Truly the list could go on…………

      Please spare us your copy paste rhetoric. If you ain’t already taking the bus you ain’t parking your car to ride the rail!

      • You are one clueless clown. I hope your grandchildren hate you for you selfishness I’m sure you opposed H-3 as well. Probablyan old white guy who lives in Hawaii Kai.

        • IF I were n old white guy from Hawaii Kai, I’d be G 0 D D V M N E D angry about this boondoggle that does nothing for my community

        • Instead of name calling, , why not refute what MakaniKai wrote. Maybe the reason you failed to refute the poster is they could be right and you don’t wanna be caught in a lie?

        • I’m sure the people that opposed H3 are cruising on that lovely freeway from time to time just as I’m sure they’ll be using the rail when it gets built. It took 20 years for the H3 because of all the frivolous lawsuits just like now with the rail. And don’t give me the lame excuse that the H3 was using federal funds.

    • More ukuleleblue BS with the children and grandchildren.

      1. Most children and grandchildren will not ride the rail or see any benefits of the rail unless you consider higher perpetual taxes as a benefit.

      2. The rail was built on la facade of creating jobs and reducing traffic. We already know that the rail has not produced the amount of job that was promoted. Not even close. The rail was originally supposed go to UH Manoa which would have eased some traffic. Going to Ala Moana will only make it convenient for some children and grandchildren to go to Ala Moana instead of Pearlridge.

      3. Ukuleleblue is paid to post rail propoganda. He either works on the mainland or Alii Tower, the headquarters of HART. (Why are we paying big rent money when the rail headquarters could be in Waipahu or Kapolei where the work is being done?)

    • RUSTY THE SCREECHNG HATED RAIL REARS ITS UGLY HEAD AGAIN & AGAIN. it has and is being built on a foundation of lies and deception and in Hawaii that is evidently OK since we appear to be a third world country where bribery is accepted and expected. The RAIL WILL NOT HELP THE MAJORITY OF THE WEST SIDERS AS THE UKU CLAIMS, IN FACT THE AMONT OF PEOPLE WHO WILL RIDE THE CHOO CHOO WILL BE MINISCULE AND MOSTLY MADE UP OF BUS RIDERS WHO HAVE LOST THE ROUTE THEY NEED. If you live in Makaha the RAIL does not help, If you live in Nanakuli the RAIL does not help if you live in Ewa Beach the RAIL DOES NOT HELP ETC. ETC.ETC. The only ones it hel[s are the developers and the Unions who are determined to destroy Hawaii. The courts need to see the TRUTH

  • Thank you Abigail Kawanakoa for pursing this case and for your plans to appeal the lower court’s dismissal of this case.
    Clearly those who received “gifts and compensation from rail proponents and developers acted in bad faith in their votes in favor of the rail project.
    Unless of course, they followed the ” Joe Souki rule”, you know, declare your conflict and vote anyway.

  • “…Donna Leong, in a statement, said she was pleased by the ruling. “It provides assurances to the people of the city..”
    No it doesn’t. It shows the “people of the city” that for a fistful of dollars, golf and the price of a plate lunch, the council members can be bought and paid for. Shameless.

  • Well, it appears that everything is going as planned: the fix is working, the Council has been paid, the Mayor’s got $1.6M, HART’s Board is on board, UkuBlue sings the same lies. It’s copacetic.

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