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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, April 13, 2002

Yoshimura's troubles are hardly behind him

Honolulu City Councilman Jon Yoshimura was engaged in more than a little wishful thinking this week in his reaction to word that the state Supreme Court had suspended his law license for six months for lying.

"I'm glad to put this very trying chapter in my life behind me," he said.

Yoshimura may be able to put his problems behind him on a personal level, but at a political level they are guaranteed to continue to haunt him.

He is running for lieutenant governor, and the controversy over his lying about a 1999 traffic accident will chase him throughout the campaign. For starters, he will go all the way through the primary election and beyond as a candidate who cannot even practice his profession because his license has been suspended.

And suspended for one of the worst things an officeholder can be found guilty of: lying.

In its order suspending Yoshimura's license, the court said, "We view a lawyer's misrepresentations as a matter of extreme gravity, particularly when the lawyer holds public office."

It's going to be tough for Yoshimura to get past that and on to the other issues and ideas he wants to push as a candidate for the state's second-highest office.

Yoshimura has accomplished a great deal, both in life and on the City Council. His resume makes him an appealing candidate. And, as we have said before, the underlying incident about which Yoshimura lied was hardly significant enough to make or break his candidacy.

But now we know that we can't take him at his word. That might have been a one-time stumble, but it is the kind of stumble it is tough to get up from.