Speaker Scott K. Saiki's Statement Regarding U.S. Attorney's Allegations
STATEMENT OF SPEAKER SCOTT K. SAIKI
REGARDING FORMER SENATOR KALANI ENGLISH
AND FORMER REPRESENTATIVE TY CULLEN
I know that members of the public are outraged.
I share their outrage.
I am deeply disturbed by the accusations against former Senator Kalani English and former Representative Ty Cullen.
They broke the law.
They compromised the Legislature.
They violated the public trust.
The people of Hawaii deserve better from their elected officials.
I was not aware of the actions taken by Senator English and Representative Cullen.
I learned of Representative Cullen's involvement when I received his resignation letter yesterday after our House floor session.
The letter did not provide a reason for his resignation.
Like the general public, I was shocked and in disbelief.
For those of who were born and raised in Hawaii, we want to believe that these things only happen on the mainland. Not in Hawaii.
The actions taken by the former legislators are deeply disturbing.
This takes Hawaii backward at a time when we need to move forward.
As Speaker, I condemn what happened.
The House of Representatives must be above corruption, graft and bribery.
We must remember that the Legislature represents the people.
In order for our legislative process to function, the public must trust government.
This is a clear violation of the public's trust.
I met with the members of our House Democratic Caucus today.
This is what I told them.
-- This is public corruption.
-- The actions taken are unacceptable.
-- House members must follow the law.
-- We all need to accept the responsibility to earn back the public's trust.
-- Hawaii's future is at stake.
I also told the Caucus that I will work with them to take the following immediate actions.
-- We will fully cooperate with the U.S. Attorney.
-- We will mandate and strengthen regular ethics training for House members.
-- We will continue to allow the media full access to the State Capitol during our temporary closure.
--We will begin a plan to re-open the State Capitol so that the public can be present.
All of us in the Hawaii Legislature must take action to rebuild the public's confidence and trust.
And we need to ensure that the legislative process reflects the public interest, and not special interests.
The bottom line is this: there is no place for this kind of conduct in the Hawaii Legislature. I pledge to do everything in my power as Speaker of the House to rebuild integrity and trust in our legislative process.