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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell appears to be helping out those who have helped him.

Caldwell wants to appoint his campaign chairman Lex Smith to the Honolulu Zoning Board of Appeals.

Here’s his letter to the Honolulu City Council asking to approve the appointment.

Smith, a local attorney, headed up the mayor’s controversial transition team that received hundreds of thousands of dollars from private donors to help him settle in and pick his cabinet.

According to Smith’s application, his law firm, Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda, collects an estimated $500,000 in fees from the city.

Smith is a former chairman of the Honolulu Ethics Commission. He resigned in 2010 to help Caldwell run for mayor.

Caldwell has sought out positions for those who have aided him in the past.

In February, he came under scrutiny for considering Harry Mattson for his cabinet. Mattson had prior tax convictions and owed the state some money.

Caldwell said at the time that this disqualified Mattson for a position with his administration.

Mattson was a paid member of Caldwell’s transition team and helped vet his cabinet.


—Nick Grube