A special committee in the Hawaii House of Representatives expressed its great disappointment Thursday that one of their colleagues was arrested on a drunken driving charge last year — an incident caught by police body cameras and reported extensively by the local media.

But the committee chose not to formally rebuke Rep. Sharon Har for her actions the night of Feb. 22, 2021, and instead will recommend to the full House that she keep them formally apprised of her efforts to get her driver’s license back should she still be in office.

Har, a Democrat representing District 42 (Kapolei, Makakilo), was cleared of the DUI charge in January. She has apologized to the House and to her constituents.

Separately, the House was asked by two of Har’s constituents, Michael Golojuch Sr. and Carolyn Golojuch, to determine whether Har violated House rules regarding standards of conduct.

Reps. Mark Nakashima and Della Au Belatti at Thursday's hearing.
Reps. Mark Nakashima and Della Au Belatti at Thursday’s hearing. Screenshot/2022

Among other things, those rules stipulate that House members “should conduct themselves in a respectful manner befitting the office with which they as elected officials have been entrusted, respecting and complying with the law and acting at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the House.”

Several of the special committee’s members said they were upset that Har had taken Codeine and drank alcohol, had gone to a bar for food and drinks at the height of the pandemic even though she had a persistent cough at the time, and drove the wrong way down one-way Beretania Street before her arrest, potentially endangering others.

But after reviewing the footage and court transcripts, they concluded that Har did not abuse her official position. Still, committee members said Har’s behavior reflected poorly on the House. Har refused to take a breath or blood test.

The panel voted unanimously to recommend to the full chamber that Har be required to inform the House in writing about the process of reclaiming her driver’s license, which was suspended for two years following the incident.

Har’s attorney Howard Luke said of the committee afterward that “it seemed like they did a sincere and deliberate effort to come to the correct resolution on this matter.”

Luke also defended the District Court judge’s dismissal of the case, saying not only was an error made in charging Har but also that it lacked evidence to proceed.

Har has pulled papers — though not yet filed — to run for reelection. At least two other Democrats, a Republican and a nonpartisan candidate have also expressed interest in the race.

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