Rail, development opponents take legal action against City Council

Local News

Several opponents are seeking to invalidate the Honolulu City Council’s votes on rail transit and the Hoopili development in West Oahu due to conflict of interest.

The Friends of Makakilo filed a request Tuesday with the city ethics commission, asking it to take another look at the votes. The group claims the votes are biased, unethical and should be invalid because council members received donations from entities that profit from both projects.

“I would like to see the vote called invalid,” said group president Kioni Dudley. “I think that everything could move to a place where we do have a call for re-election of council members in order to decide fairly on this.”

Charles Totto, executive director and legal counsel for the Honolulu Ethics Commission, released the following statement Tuesday confirming the request was received:

Commission staff will look into his concerns. We do not comment on our investigations or reviews until they are concluded, so I cannot say more.

KHON2 reached out to council members and either didn’t hear back from them or received a “no comment.”

Also on Tuesday, Abigail Kawananakoa filed a lawsuit against the city with hopes of invalidating council votes on issues like rail and other development projects.

In the lawsuit, she cites past and present council members who received gifts from people or businesses who would benefit from the passage of certain bills.

Kawananakoa, whose family has ties to Hawaiian royalty, filed the lawsuit as a taxpayer.

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