- Associated Press - Saturday, November 7, 2015

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - A Maui lawmaker pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges in a campaign finance case.

Rep. Angus McKelvey’s campaign was accused of failing to report certain contributions and allowing McKelvey’s mother to handle money without authorization.

He entered his plea Friday. McKelvey told the Maui News in October (http://bit.ly/1NA7KD1) that he “screwed up royally.”

The state agreed to McKelvey’s request for deferred acceptance of the plea. The lawmaker said he can ask the court to expunge his record after six months.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported McKelvey could spend up to a year on probation. He told the newspaper after the hearing that his campaign chairman filed the reports and took responsibility for errors that were “clearly inadvertent.”

“He makes recommendations, and that’s what we followed, and it turned out it was wrong,” McKelvey said.

His lawyer, Michael Green, said McKelvey knows “the buck stops with him.”

The Maui Democrat will also have to pay into Hawaii’s Crime Victim Compensation Fund.

“We appreciate the fact that the Department of the Attorney General shares our concerns over the seriousness of candidates who fail to report contributions and expenditures in their disclosure reports,” said Campaign Spending Commission Director Kristin Izumi-Nitao. “Prosecuting these cases guarantees the integrity and transparency of the campaign finance process that the public is entitled to.”

Attorney General Doug Chin said he’ll keep working with the commission “to make sure campaign dollars in Hawaii are collected and spent with transparency.”

The plea agreement required McKelvey to apologize. He told District Court Judge Clarence Pacarro that his apology published by the Maui News “really explains the situation and gave me the chance to apologize to my constituents for what has happened, and to move forward to regain their trust.”

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

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