In Government, Government Affairs, Maui Division

Star-Advertiser; April 8, 2018

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM State Representative and former Speaker of the House Joe Souki issues a public apology through his attorney, Michael Green, and also announced his intention to resign his office, March 21.

 WAILUKU >> Gov. David Ige has instructed Democratic Party officials to move as quickly as possible to name possible candidates to fill the seat vacated by former state House Speaker Joe Souki.

The Democratic governor has asked the officials to submit three names to him by this week so he can appoint a new representative before the legislative session ends in May, The Maui News reported Friday.

The 86-year-old representative resigned last month following a Hawaii State Ethics Commission investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women by subjecting them to unwanted kissing, touching and sexual language.

Souki paid a $5,000 fine Monday and issued an apology letter. He has been barred from seeking public office for at least two years. Souki held the seat for more than three decades.

In an interview Thursday, Ige stressed the importance of Maui residents having a representative for Hawaii’s 8th House District, noting that “there are many important decisions that need to be made.”

After the list is submitted, Ige said he would interview the candidates and a decision should be made in a couple of days.

The governor has 60 days to make the appointment following the first day of the seat’s vacancy.

“Obviously, having experience would be helpful, but it is definitely not a prerequisite, a hard criteria,” Ige said. “I will just look and see who is on the list and who would most effectively represent the community.”

Start typing and press Enter to search