For Rick Blangiardi, being Honolulu’s mayor meant taking a pay cut, according to his financial disclosure form filed on Friday.

At the time he left his job as general manager of Hawaii News Now, Blangiardi was making an annual salary between $200,000 and $300,000, the disclosure shows. He retired from the station in January 2020 to run for mayor, a job that pays $186,432.

His 2020 earnings were a decrease from his HNN income the prior year, when he brought in over $1 million, according to the financial disclosure form he filed as a candidate. His office did not explain the significant year-over-year decrease, but 2019 was a year in which Gray Television acquired HNN’s parent company Raycom and employees cashed out company stock.

Blangiardi did not list any other income for 2020. His wife, Karen Chang, brought in between $25,000 and $50,000 in rental income, the disclosure shows.

Mayor Rick Blangiardi speaks during a press conference announcing new COVID-19 informational banners that will installed along Kalakaua Avenue. February 11, 2021
Mayor Rick Blangiardi filed his financial disclosure on Friday. It was three weeks late. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Since his last disclosure was filed in June 2020, Blangiardi obtained a new loan of at least $800,000 from First Hawaiian Bank and CUSO of Hawaii Services, a credit union, according to his new filing. His office did not respond to a question about why he obtained the loan. The disclosure doesn’t list any property he purchased last year.

In 2020, Blangiardi was a board member for both the YMCA and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museums, but he has since left those positions, according to his disclosure. His wife was a member of the Honolulu Police Commission but she stepped down in 2020 as Blangiardi was kicking off his mayoral campaign.

The mayor’s disclosure lists three properties owned by his wife. One is an industrial investment property at 1186 Mikole St. on Sand Island. The other two are “family” properties at 31 Puuikena Place in Aina Haina and a 33rd floor unit at the Admiral Thomas Condominium at 1221 Victoria St. The disclosure says the properties were purchased in 2015, 2000 and 2017, respectively, but none of them were listed on his previous financial disclosure form covering 2019.

Blangiardi and Chang also own a penthouse at the Admiral Thomas, a property they bought together in 2014 that is assessed at over $2 million, according to property records. However, that unit is not listed on the mayor’s latest financial disclosure form. It was included on his previous one.

The mayor’s latest disclosure lists a personal residence purchased in 2017 that he co-owns with his wife. It was not included on his previous disclosure. He did not specify an address for his residence, and he is not required to do so.

Blangiardi’s office did not respond to questions on Friday afternoon about the discrepancies on his disclosure form.

Blangiardi filed his disclosure three weeks late. It was due within 20 working days after he took the oath of office on Jan. 2, according to city law. Any city officer or employee whose disclosure is not received by the Honolulu Ethics Commission or city clerk by the deadline shall be given a notice of violation, a city ordinance says.

The city clerk’s office said it did not issue Blangiardi a violation notice but did encourage his office on Friday to file his disclosure, which he did.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author