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Special Committee Will Not Review Rep. Har's Conduct Until Court Case Concludes

Hawaii State Legislature

A special legislative committee will not review state Representative Sharon Har’s conduct until after her case for allegedly driving under the influence concludes, the committee decided Tuesday.

Har was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in February after driving the wrong way on South Beretania Street. Har cited a combination of medication and a beer she had with dinner as factors to her impaired driving.

She refused to take either a blood or breath test. Because of her refusal, there was also a hearing before the state’s Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Office to revoke her driver’s license for two years.

A special House committee was formed after two complaints were filed, alleging Har violated the House’s conduct policy.

The committee met Tuesday to discuss the procedures and scope of their investigation. Committee Chair Della Au Belatti described some of the actions the committee can take.

"No action can be recommended. Article Three, section 12 of the Hawaii State Constitution provides, 'Each House shall have, for misconduct, disorderly behavior or neglect of duty of any member, power to punish such member by censure or, upon a two-thirds vote of all the members to which such house is entitled, by suspension or expulsion of such member."

"I want to note the Houses do not contain any explicit remedy for violation of the House rules unless the investigation is being done by a select committee on standard of conduct," she continued. "And in addition, House rule 28.11 provides, 'The House may censure its members for disorderly conduct or neglect of conduct. The House may also suspend or expel a member by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of the House.'"

The committee postponed scheduling a future meeting until criminal proceedings for Representative Har have concluded. Har is expected to appear in district court on April 20.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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