Friday, February 23, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, May 16, 2014
Cachola lawyers up as investigators probe use of campaign funds
By Malia Zimmerman @ 5:48 AM :: 6066 Views :: Democratic Party, Ethics, Politicians

HI House leader lawyers up as investigators probe his use of campaign funds

House Majority Whip Romy Cachola House Majority Whip Romy Cachola

by Malia Zimmerman, Watchdog.org, May 14, 2014

HONOLULU – State House Majority Whip Romy Cachola, D-Kalihi, has hired Honolulu criminal defense attorney Michael Green to represent him, as the state and county step up their investigation into Cachola’s financial records and reporting.

According to a complaint filed May 7 by the state Campaign Spending Commission, which oversees campaign fundraising and spending by state and county elected officials and candidates, Cachola used $64,000 of his campaign fund for personal use.

(See Romy Cachola complaint and Romy Cachola case-exhibits.)

The commission wants the money returned, and also plans to fine Cachola another $4,000.

Cachola’s own report to the commission shows that in 2008 he purchased a Nissan Pathfinder from New City Nissan for $30,000.

He has since spent campaign funds to buy fuel as often as three times a week, and put additional campaign funds toward car insurance, maintenance and registration, totaling $21,000.

Watchdog.org first reported on the unusual expenses in September 2013.

Cachola said then the Pathfinder “is purely for campaign use.”

“I felt the campaign needed a bigger car such as the Pathfinder, to accommodate signs, supplies and other campaign paraphernalia,” Cachola told Watchdog.org. “For personal use, the family uses our Lexus car, which is a pretty small car.”

Under state law, any candidate or political official who uses campaign funds for personal use must reimburse the campaign.

After Cachola made that statement to Watchdog.org, the Campaign Spending Commission opened its own investigation and hired investigators from the state attorney general’s office to follow Cachola for a week. During that week in January, Cachola used the Pathfinder only for personal affairs, driving to church, a golf course and to the state Capitol.

Cachola received $250 to $300 a month for his automobile allowance when he was in the Honolulu City Council from 2008 to 2012, for a total of $13,000, while also billing his campaign.

As a result, the Honolulu City Ethics Commission opened its own investigation into Cachola’s finances.

The Campaign Spending Commission was set to take action against Cachola on Wednesday, but Cachola’s newly hired attorney asked for a postponement so he could review the case.

The commission is also looking into 137 food and beverage purchases by Cachola totaling $9,000 charged to his campaign and $2,774 he spent on public relations expenses to determine whether they were campaign-related.

Cachola has had an extensive career in politics, serving in the Hawaii state House from November 1984 to August 2000, on the Honolulu City Council from November 2000 until 2012. He was re-elected to the Hawaii House District 30 during the 2012 election. Cachola has served as State House Majority Whip since 2013 and is a member of five legislative committees.

---30---

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT