HONOLULU — State House leaders plan to appoint a special committee to investigate Rep. Faye Hanohano after a college student complained she treated him rudely while testifying before a committee she chairs.
House Majority Leader Scott Saiki informed House Democrats of the investigation Thursday.
Hawaii Pacific University environmental studies student Aarin Jacobs testified last week before the House Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs Committee in favor of a bill creating administrative penalties for harming sharks and rays in state waters.
The 22-year-old from Portland, Ore., told House leaders in an email Wednesday that Hanohano told him he wanted to take her food. He said Hanohano also asked whether she would have to resort to eating people if there was a taro famine and she faced penalties for eating shark.
Jacobs said Hanohano, a Native Hawaiian and a Democrat representing Puna, rhetorically asked the audience why Westerners come to Hawaii and tell people what to do.
He said the representative also inquired about his age and then dismissed him with a “pfft” and told him to sit down.
The special committee will be made up of three Democrats and three Republicans and will determine whether the House should consider any disciplinary action.