State Rep. Karen Awana still owes $800 in fines for failing to keep campaign spending records and filing false reports dating back to 2008.

The four-term Democrat has $16,000 in her campaign account, which she could have used to complete the delinquent payments months ago.

But for whatever reason she won’t.

The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has worked to help Awana bring everything up to snuff. But her lack of response — and the recent discovery of suspicious purchases — is expected to bring additional fines and legal action as soon as September.

Awana was fined $6,800 last year for failing to report contributions and expenditures or respond to the commission’s requests for more information. The commission considered criminal action against the repeat offender, but decided to handle it administratively.

She was put on a payment plan, which she started to make good on after bouncing a check. But her last payment of $800 was due March 31, and the commission says there’s been little dialog with her since then.

Gary Kam, the commission’s general counsel, said the office doesn’t understand why Awana won’t just use her available campaign money to pay off the rest of the fine. In an effort to find out, the commission subpoenaed her bank records.

A review of the bank records has turned up hundreds of dollars in suspicious expenses — a coffee here, a lei there — that suggest she may be using campaign money for personal reasons. Buying pizzas for campaign volunteers, for instance, is OK but treating yourself to ice cream is not.

In some instance, Awana also reported a campaign contribution but apparently never deposited the check, Kam said. State law requires candidates to deposit campaign donations within seven days, so he wants to know what she did with those checks.

Kam has asked Awana for records to back up her expenses and to provide explanations of certain deposits, but she has responded with requests for more time. He said candidates are required to keep records for five years, and failure to do so is a serious offense.

Kam’s initially requested more information May 21. Awana was asked to respond by June 5. She didn’t, but got an extension until July 12. She met with the commission before that deadline and was given another month.

Kam said the whole ordeal has become a broken record. It’s the second round of subpoenas and would be the third round of complaints against Awana for similar violations over the past several years.

“We are concerned about the representative and we do have something that’s currently in the works,” Kam told Civil Beat Friday.

Awana, the House floor leader, could find herself in court by the end of this year if she lets it go much longer.

She didn’t return calls seeking comment.

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