Kaniela Ing says he has no plans to run again and is glad the matter “is finally behind me.”

A former state representative from Maui pleaded no contest Monday to a misdemeanor charge of missing a deadline for filing a campaign spending report, the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office said.


Kaniela Ing, who represented South Maui from 2012 to 2018 and also ran for Congress, was charged in February after the Campaign Spending Commission took the rare step of referring the case to prosecutors.

The court granted Ing a one-year deferral of his plea during which time he must not commit another crime or leave Oahu without the court’s permission, according to a press release. He also must make a $100 contribution to the State General Fund, it said.

A proof of compliance hearing was set for Aug. 13, 2024.

“We reviewed the facts and charged him with a misdemeanor campaign spending violation. Today Mr. Ing decided not to contest the charge,” Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said.

Former state Rep. Kaniela Ing also ran for Congress in 2018. He said Monday he has no plans to run for office again. (Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2018)

Ing missed a deadline to file a routine disclosure statement with the commission in August 2022 and didn’t pay a $500 fine, according to the complaint filed by the commission’s executive director, Kristin Izumi-Nitao. The commission’s website shows Ing filed the missed report in November.

Ing said he doesn’t plan to run for office again and hasn’t spent or raised any money since his last run.

“I have attempted to close my account but had to resolve this first,” he said Monday in a phone interview. “This is for a missed filing deadline as a noncandidate for five years with no campaign activity.”

“I believe the prosecution handled this professionally. I’m glad that it’s finally behind me,” he added.

Failing to file a report is a misdemeanor under Hawaii’s campaign spending law, but there have been few instances of such a charge, with just three lawmakers being taken to court over violations since 2015, Civil Beat reported previously.

Ing was fined $15,000 for dozens of violations related to his candidate committee in 2018. He has paid off those fines.

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by grants from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation.

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