Friday, December 28, 2007

Rep. Karamatsu resigns as House Vice-Speaker

Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu (Waipahu, Village Park, Waikele) today resigned from his position as Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives.

"I realize I made a serious error in judgement, and I wish to take full responsibility for my actions," said Karamatsu in a letter to Speaker of the House Calvin Say.

The resignation comes in the wake of an alcohol-related traffic incident involving only Karamatsu. On December 21, Karamatsu pleaded no contest in District Court. It was his first offense.

"It is my idea and my choice to resign as Vice-Speaker," said Karamatsu. "I don't wish to be a source of distraction for the House of Representatives."

Say thanked Rep. Karamatsu for his decision. "I appreciate Jon Riki's willingness to look past himself and put the institution and the people's business first," he said. "I know he has already learned from this experience, and I am eager to see him move forward with his life."

No replacement for Karamatsu has yet been announced. Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell has assumed the duties of Vice-Speaker since Karamatsu's temporary suspension in October.

"House Leadership will be looking into a replacement for Rep. Karamatsu, and a recommendation will be made by the Legislature's opening day in January," said Speaker Say.

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