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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 24, 2001

Mirikitani to step down Dec. 1

Advertiser Staff

Andy Mirikitani yesterday announced that he will retire from the City Council on Dec. 1 and plans to reduce his staff to save taxpayers' money.

City Councilman Mirikitani was convicted in July of theft, bribery, extortion, wire fraud and witness tampering.
Mirikitani's retirement date is three days before scheduled sentencing in federal court for felony charges of public corruption.

Under state law, Mirikitani is allowed to remain in office until he is sentenced Dec. 4. Mirikitani had no comment yesterday.

In July, Mirikitani was found guilty of theft, bribery, extortion, wire fraud and witness tampering in connection with a scheme to give bonuses to former city aides in exchange for their kicking back half to him.

Since Mirikitani was convicted, some on the City Council have urged him to step down, as have some people who live in his district, which comprises Manoa, McCully, Mo'ili'ili, Makiki, and Ala Moana.

Yesterday, Mirikitani said in a press release that he will cut his four-member staff to two workers who will take calls and field community concerns. City Council staffs are political appointees of individual council members. Mirikitani's staff has one full-time and two part-time workers and an administrative assistant. The two part-time slots will remain vacant.

Mirikitani also said he plans to have all pending projects and work completed or set into motion before his retirement. Some of the projects, which he said he initiated, are the new Makiki Swimming Pool, the rebuilding of Makiki Library and Community Center, and a number of parks in Pawa'a, Kalo Place and Punahou Square.

City Clerk Genny Wong says a special election will be scheduled for Jan. 26 to fill Mirkitani's seat in District 5.

The City Council is scheduled to meet Dec. 5 to direct Wong to hold the special election.

Candidates for the district will have until Dec. 17 to file nomination papers.