State Rep. Calvin Say has survived yet another challenge by residents in his Oahu district who want him out of office.

Last month, a complaint was filed with the Campaign Spending Commission charging that the speaker emeritus of the Hawaii House of Representatives may have illegally used $60,000 of campaign funds for personal use.

Say stated in his most recent expenditure filing with the commission that he paid $23,354 to law firm Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda for legal fees, explaining that the money was “Directly Related to Candidate’s Campaign.”

Turns out Say did nothing wrong.

Calvin Say

Calvin Say

Hawaii House of Representatives

Maria Wang, an attorney for the law firm, emailed to Civil Beat Thursday a copy of a Nov. 10 commission letter explaining that Say’s use of funds to pay for legal fees in regard to challenges to his voter registration “was appropriate.”

The letter, from commission attorney Gary Kam to Nancy McGee, the Distirct 20 resident who filed the complaint against Say, says the agency will take no further action on the matter.

Say has been challenged several times over complaints that he has not lived in his Palolo Valley home in years and instead lives in another district. The speaker emeritus, however, has long stated that he lives in District 20.

Say’s legal fees were in defense of a legal challenge regarding his residency status. A court found in September that the Hawaii House has authority over member qualifications and not the courts.

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