Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the Honolulu Police Commission has withdrawn his name from consideration, the mayor’s office announced this morning.
The withdrawal comes just two days after nominee Larry Ignas told the City Council that he doesn’t believe racial discrimination exists in Hawaii.
“Larry Ignas is a principled man who has lived in Hawaii for 34 years and came highly recommended,” Blangiardi said in a written statement. “However, under the circumstances and given the expectations, he is withdrawing his name from consideration to the Honolulu Police Commission. I will work on vetting a new candidate to nominate to this very important position.”
Blangiardi added, “Initially, I felt it was necessary to have someone with law enforcement experience, however that will not be one of my requirements moving forward and we will see where it takes us from here.”
Ignas was asked at a Wednesday City Council meeting whether there is racial discrimination in Hawaii.
The 77-year-old Ignas said he hasn’t seen any discrimination in his more than 30 years in the state.
Councilmembers reacted strongly to his comments, calling them “out-of-touch,” “upsetting,” “insensitive and ignorant.”