by Andrew Walden
A Democratic state representative says, “They’re like a couple of high school kids.”
A reporter approaches group of legislative staffers at a post-session Chinatown luncheon. Just the mention of “Clayton Hee and Jessica Wooley” elicits nervous laughter from the table. Says one, “It’s been going on all session. They’re the worst-kept secret at the Capitol.”
A sister-island legislator says, “I see them coming out of the Ohana East (hotel) in the mornings. They don’t even try to cover up.”
But Wooley’s husband, Earthjustice lawyer David Henkin, says they’ve all got it wrong. In a 5am email sent Friday to Hawai’i Free Press, Henkin insists the rumors are “scurrilous allegations to be made, in the hope of influencing the outcome of the election.”
Writes Henkin: “Jessica and I fell in love in the summer of 1990 and have been in love ever since. We were married in 1997, and recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. We are caring parents of two wonderful children.”
Queries to Wooley, Hee, and Hee’s second wife, UH spokesperson Lynne Waters, drew no response.
Hee’s first wife, Lyla Berg, filed for divorce in 1988. Berg would later serve in the State Legislature where she became infamous as a co-sponsor of the Islam Day resolution.
The State of Hawaii pays per diem and supplies hotel accommodations for sister isle legislators at the Ohana East Hotel during session. On their 2012 candidate filings Wooley—running for the redistricted HD48-- and Hee--seeking reelection in SD23--list addresses in Kaneohe.
Wooley faces off against Rep Pono Chong in the Democratic Primary August 11 and no Republican challenger in November. Hee, also a Democrat, faces Republican former Rep Colleen Meyer November 6.
Does Henkin have a conflict of interest? Henkin insists, “I have no conflict of interest testifying on behalf of Earthjustice at the Legislature. Earthjustice is not involved in either the Ho'opili or Koa Ridge lawsuits (in which Clayton Hee is a plaintiff).”
Do Hee and Wooley have an undisclosed conflict of interest on legislation each might support or oppose?
Did Hee or Wooley inappropriately receive state-funded accommodations at the Ohana East reserved for sister-isle legislators?
These were among the questions to which they did not respond.