After several complaints about Rep. Faye Hanohano’s behavior, House Speaker Joe Souki has set an ultimatum for the Puna lawmaker. A letter of reprimand was delivered Thursday.
“Of course she wasn’t happy with the letter that was prepared,” Rep. Souki said. “No adult is happy being reprimanded by another person and, as expected, she wasn’t very happy.”
Rep. Hanohano declined to comment.
The letter, in its entirety, follows:
The Honorable Faye P. Hanohano
Honolulu, HI 96813
Dear Representative Hanohano:
This letter serves to inform you that I have completed my investigation of the complaints made against you by Lewis Edward Aarin Jacobs and William J. Aila, Jr., chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, concerning your conduct at certain public committee meetings (“Complaints”).
I have found the Complaints to be valid. Further, I have found:
(1) The content of the Complaints as they relate to what you said and your interactions with Mr. Jacobs and representatives of the Department of Land and Natural Resources are substantially accurate;
(2) Your conduct during the public hearings was intimidating and displayed, at a minimum, a lack of respect and courtesy, and would lead an impartial observer to agree that your references to age and ethnicity lessened public confidence in the integrity of the House of Representatives (“House”); and
(3) Your conduct was unacceptable, was in violation of the House Code of Legislative Conduct, and was disruptive to our workplace.
As you know, as Speaker of the House, I have a duty to take action to deter a recurrence of similar behavior, as provided for under Section 27.3 of the House Administrative and Financial Manual.
During our discussions of this matter, you have assured me that in the future you will conduct yourself as a member of the House fairly, without rancor, and with respect and courtesy to both the public and to state agencies and employees.
Despite these assurances, I believe that the formal public reprimand this letter represents is insufficient to prevent the recurrence of the disruptive behavior, unless it is accompanied by the threat of a loss of all committee assignments.
1. Leadership will monitor your conduct for the remainder of this Legislative session; and
2. If it is confirmed by me that a future incident of this nature has occurred, whether at the Capitol or elsewhere, I will immediately remove you from all committee assignments, as is provided for under Section 27.3, and will refer these matters to the House for further disciplinary action.
Joseph M. Souki
cc: All Members of the House