- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A county council candidate on Hawaii’s Big Island had an ethics complaint against her dropped after the Board of Ethics said it didn’t have jurisdiction to act.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/1libIwY) that former Councilwoman Emily Naeole was the subject of a complaint by resident Arthur Varady.

Naeole went into a county senior center and asked the site manager to hand out 20 tickets to her campaign fundraiser, Varady said.

“To me, this is a clear ethics violation,” Varady said.

The Board of Ethics bars county employees and officers from using public facilities for campaigns, but the Board says it has no jurisdiction over Naeole’s campaign because she’s not a county employee or officer.

That’s a double standard, because it creates two classes of candidates running for office with different rules, board member Arne Henricks said.

“Maybe it’s something that should be taken up by the state Ethics Commission, not by us,” Hendricks added.

Naeole is running in District 4 and her competitors include incumbent Greggor Ilagan.

Naeole had barely enough gas to get to the ethics meeting, but she had to go and defend her rights, she said.

“Someone’s been trying to put me down . I’m stepping back up and this is the kind of thing I have to put up with,” she told the Board.

While in office, Naeole was rebuked by the Board for throwing a pen across the room out of frustration during a council meeting.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/