Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa is accused of breaking campaign spending laws by misrepresenting more than $6,000 in advertisements that his campaign bought.
The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission claims Arakawa’s campaign characterized the funds as advertisements, although they were really charitable donations to nonprofits.
The commission states that campaigns are allowed to give up to $8,000 in charitable donations. But they’re not allowed to misrepresent the donations as campaign expenses.
Arakawa went before the commission on Wednesday to defend himself against the allegations. He says his campaign never did anything to intentionally get away from the rules.
Arakawa’s attorney, David Minkin, called the allegations a witch hunt.
Commissioner Kenneth Goodenow says it’s not a criminal case, and wasn’t “reckless,” but the commission is considering a $2,000 fine.