Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, May 29, 2014
Melodie Aduja: Former State Senator with troubled past wants another chance
By Malia Zimmerman @ 9:15 PM :: 7550 Views :: Ethics, Politicians, Drugs

Former Hawaii senator with troubled past wants another chance

by Malia Zimmerman,, May 29, 2014 

HONOLULU — Former state Sen. Melodie Aduja, who was booted by voters 10 years ago after a scandal involving her campaign spending account, wants another shot in the Legislature.

SHE WANTS BACK IN: Former state Sen. Melodie Aduja is asking voters to return her to the state Legislature.

SHE WANTS BACK IN: Former state Sen. Melodie Aduja is asking voters to return her to the state Legislature.

Aduja, an lawyer first elected in 2000 as a Democrat to represent Kahuku and Kaneohe on Oahu, was under scrutiny by the Campaign Spending Commission in 2004 after the state agency opened a very public investigation into her campaign finances.

The investigation was initiated after the commission said Aduja failed to justify thousands of dollars in campaign spending and had made other campaign violations.

The investigation showed Aduja’s campaign issued $30,000 worth of checks to her former husband, Lee Williams, and never provided receipts, then Campaign Spending Commission Executive Director Bob Watada Watada said. Williams subsequently was arrested during a Chinatown drug bust.

Aduja’s campaign also didn’t report a $3,000 loan that was issued or what the loan was used for, Watada said.

As a result, the commission fined her campaign $9,100.

After a negative media firestorm, Aduja lost the 2004 Democratic primary election to Clayton Hee, a former senator and elected trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

The following year, the Hawaii Supreme Court suspended Aduja from practicing law for three years for violating ethical rules governing lawyers.

Hawaii’s high court said Aduja mishandled her client trust account, which resulted in multiple violations of the Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct.

Her law license also was suspended in California in 2005 for three years, and she was given probation for two years after the suspension.

Aduja won’t face Hee in the Senate race this election because he is running for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary.

However, Aduja must take on Gil Riverie, a former Republican House member, who is running as a Democrat in this election.

The Republican primary for the same Senate seat will also be competitive. State Rep. Richard Fale takes on former state Rep. Colleen Meyer.

Aduja didn’t return a call to her law office requesting comment.

Willes Lee, former chair of the Hawaii Republican Party who is now the national director for the Hawaii Republican Assembly, said it’s typical of Hawaii politics for politicians who have shown themselves to be less than trustworthy, or even convicted of crimes,  to re-enter the political arena and subsequently be elected.

“The people in Hawaii should demand candidates who have not been indicted, be put in jail or disbarred,” Lee said.

Lee predicts Aduja will lose to Riviere, who he called “a super citizen.”

Lee said he believes Meyer will beat Fale in the GOP contest because “she is the only mature and experienced legislator in the Republican primary,” and then it will be up to the voters to choose between two former legislators, Riverie and Meyer.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

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



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

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

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

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


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

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

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii