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Lawmakers give grant to lawmaker-controlled group

May 1, 2014 - 8:31pm

HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers approved a $100,000 grant to a nonprofit organization controlled by State Rep. Rida Cabanilla.

But Cabanilla didn’t publicly disclose her close ties to the Ewa Historical Society or ask House leaders whether she had a potential conflict before Tuesday’s vote.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports her son is listed as the nonprofit’s vice president in the grant application and two aides are listed among the four-member board of directors.

Cabanilla says she put their names on the application because she couldn’t find enough community volunteers. She says her name is on the application and she didn’t hide anything.

The grant is for repair and upkeep of Ewa Plantation Cemetery, where many plantation workers are buried.

The cemetery was closed for burials in 1976. Volunteers take care of maintenance.

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