State Representative Kaniela Ing, D–South Maui, is only now dealing with a bench warrant dating Feb. 18 of this year, after MauiTime inquired on the matter. The $250 warrant was issued by the Second District Court after Ing missed a court hearing on a citation for lacking motor vehicle insurance back on Jan. 18, court records show.
MauiTime discovered the bench warrant after receiving an anonymous email on the morning of July 26, allegedly written by one of Ing’s neighbors. “3 cops cars came to my neighbor Kaneila’s [sic] house today and the cops said they had warrant for him but the family said he not home and he was supposed to come back but he never so they left our side of Mehani Circle to look for him if he was signwaving down Piilani,” stated the email.
Maui Police spokesperson Lt. Gregg Okamoto said he “cannot confirm” that any officers attempted to contact Ing on the morning of July 26. By phone that morning, Ing also said he knew nothing of any police officers who were allegedly trying to see him. Though he said he was “advised by an attorney not to say too much,” he did talk in general terms about what had happened regarding the bench warrant.
“My car was vandalized a few months ago,” he said, expressing considerable remorse. “Since then I’ve been borrowing peoples’ cars.”
Ing said that on Jan. 18, the car was parked in the street and he was working on it when a Maui Police Officer came by and told him he couldn’t work on the car on a public street. It was then, Ing told MauiTime, that the police officer discovered that the car lacked insurance.
“The insurance had expired,” Ing said around noon on July 26. “I thought it was cool, and that everything was dealt with, but I’m dealing with it now.”
A couple hours later, Ing called back and said he had set a new court date of Aug. 25 to deal with the matter.
Ing, first elected in 2012, is currently locked in a pretty tough Primary Election battle with Democrat Deidre Tegarden who so far raised considerably more campaign contributions (much of which came from big land developers, builders and construction unions) than Ing. The most recent campaign finance reports show that Tegarden has so far pulled in more than $81,000 in contributions this election, compared to Ing’s $45,000, but the reports also show that Tegarden has spent virtually all of it. She currently has about $9,000 in the bank compared to Ing’s $37,000.
The anonymous July 26 email was also apparently sent to Maui News Publisher Joe Bradley,
but that paper has as yet published nothing on the matter. On the afternoon of July 27, The Maui News reported that Ing was arrested yesterday at 12:45pm on the outstanding bench warrant. This was shortly before Ing called me back that afternoon to say he had a new court date set for Aug. 25
Photo courtesy Kaniela Ing’s 2012 campaign