Upkeep for Ewa cemetery at center of controversy

By Clayton Wakida, KITV Digital Media Manager, KITV Digital Media Manager
Published On: May 02 2014 11:32:36 AM HST
Updated On: May 02 2014 11:33:01 AM HST

Eyebrows are being raised over $100,000 earmarked for the Ewa Historical Society, a non-profit that a state lawmaker controls.

HONOLULU -

Eyebrows are being raised over $100,000 earmarked for the Ewa Historical Society -- a nonprofit that Rep. Rida Cabanilla controls.

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The controversy centers around the upkeep for a cemetery in Ewa, which is why Cabanilla says she sought the funds.

The Ewa lawmaker and her staff are listed as officers, but Cabanilla says she did not hide anything and she plans to distance herself from the group.

"I don't believe I violated any law.  The conflict of interest comes when you get paid.  I never was paid.  I do not intend to get paid and neither are my staff," said Cabanilla.  "I hope the hoopla about this nonprofit does not deter the release of that money, because the community needs that money."

House leaders say the attorney general is looking into the matter and assure that no money will be dispersed until the budget office completes its due diligence.

The nonprofit had its 501C3 status revoked last year, but Cabanilla says she has verification the nonprofit is in good standing.

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