Voters to elect Mirikitani successor
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By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser City Hall Writer
Voters in the diverse communities of Manoa, Mo'ili'ili, McCully, Tantalus, Makiki, Pawa'a, Ala Moana and Kewalo will elect a new City Council member Saturday to replace convicted felon and former Councilman Andy Mirikitani.
The special election to fill the vacancy in City Council District 5 is Saturday. Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bring a photo ID.
Registered voters also may vote earlier at the walk-in absentee voting site at Honolulu Hale. It is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Thursday.
For more information, call the city clerk at 523-4293 or visit www.co.honolulu.hi.us/council/spclelec.htm
The field of candidates includes many with neighborhood board experience, as well as a former state senator, a former state House member and a spokesman for the Honolulu Fire Department.
Mirikitani was sentenced to federal prison last month and reported to prison in Las Vegas last week to begin serving his 41/4-year sentence for public corruption.
He was convicted July 3 on felony public corruption counts of theft, bribery, extortion, wire fraud and witness tampering.
Registered voters can make their selection at 19 polling places or by absentee ballot. City Clerk Genny Wong said 44,868 people are registered to vote in the special election.
The election is expected to cost $150,000. The winner could be sworn in as early as Feb. 15. Council members earn $43,350 a year.
Mirikitani, the only Honolulu City Council member and the highest-ranking elected official in Hawai'i to be indicted on federal felony charges while in office, was convicted for offering two bonuses to two of his then-council aides if they kicked back a share of the money to him.
His wife, Sharron, was convicted of helping him in the theft and extortion case.
U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor also sentenced Sharron Mirikitani to serve one year and nine months in federal prison.
She was convicted of assisting Mirikitani in the bribery-kickback case.
The Mirikitanis, who were married last month, also were ordered to pay restitution of $6,884, the amount they received in the scheme.