Honolulu mayor’s nominee to serve on Police Commission withdraws name after denying Hawaii racism

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FILE – The Honolulu Police Commission during a meeting on April 19, 2021.

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s latest appointee for the Honolulu Police Commission has withdrawn his nomination.

Blangiardi released the following statement on Friday, June 4:

“Larry Ignas is a principled man who has lived in Hawaii for 34 years and came highly recommended. 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. 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.”

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Ignas, 77, receiving criticism for saying he doesn’t believe racial discrimination exists in Hawaii during a City Council meeting earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the search also continues for the next Honolulu Police Chief, which is expected to take four to six months. While it is up to the Police Commission to make the final decision, Blangiardi also wants a say in it as well. He is looking for someone who is a great communicator.

“I’m just hoping that perhaps the best person wins and maybe possibly it’s somebody local or somebody who has come up through the ranks because I do think there is a lot to be gained from that kind of experience,” Blangiardi said on Wednesday.

The Police Commission is looking for someone with personal and professional integrity, and progressive vision. A consulting firm will be hired to help in the search, and the Police Commission has told KHON2 that they will be asking the firm to get a lot of public input.

A deputy chief will also be needed. John McCarthy retired on Tuesday, July 1, after 45 years of service, and said he’s considering applying for the Chief’s position.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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