A Democratic Hawaii state lawmaker allegedly schemed to get her colleagues arrested for drunk driving after they killed a bill she sponsored.
Freshman state representative Natalia Hussey-Burdick reportedly brought shot glasses and encouraged her fellow lawmakers to drink at a party in a State House conference room last month, according to Hawaii News Now. She then had someone call the Honolulu police tipping them off that people at the party were intoxicated and likely to drive drunk.
The alleged scheme came hours after a bill Hussey-Burdick sponsored to allow traditional midwives to continue practicing without a license died in a House committee after it wasn't given a hearing before a crucial deadline. Lawmakers told Hawaii News Now that Hussey-Burdick alerted the midwives to call the police during the party that night.
The police did not appear at the State House, but lawmakers became aware that the tip was called in. Hussey-Burdick later admitted she had a role in calling the police but suggested her intentions were simply to keep her colleagues safe.
"I texted a friend about my concerns that some people at the party seemed likely to drive drunk, and my friend in turn alerted members of the HPD," Hussey-Burdick said in a statement on Thursday. "After much introspection I see now that the kind thing to do in this situation would have been to check in with my colleagues and try to arrange a safe way for them to get home. I have apologized to my colleagues for choosing an unkind course of action."
Lawmakers initially called for Hussey-Burdick to be expelled, Hawaii News Now reported, but House speaker Scott Saiki (D.) told the outlet she would face no discipline.
"She has all of her assignments in place," Saiki said. "There is no discipline being taken."
University of Hawaii political science professor Colin Moore told Hawaii News Now Hussey-Burdick's colleagues likely didn't seek to discipline her in order to avoid further publicity over the embarrassing situation.
"For any legislator, there’s no upside here," Moore said. "Everyone looks bad in this story."
Published under: Hawaii