Ige appoints Costales to replace former lawmaker Cullen

HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Wednesday appointed a nonprofit manager to fill the state House seat vacated by former Rep. Ty Cullen, who resigned last month when prosecutors alleged he took bribes in exchange for influencing legislation.

Luella Costales will serve the remainder of Cullen’s term which ends in November. The House district includes Waipahu and Makakilo.

Cullen is a Democrat. To fill his seat, state law required Ige to pick one of three names forwarded to him by the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

Costales is currently the community and resource manager for the Oahu Economic Development Board, a nonprofit organization. She was previously the director of fund development for the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific.

She also served on the Honolulu Police Commission.

Cullen pleaded guilty last month to honest services wire fraud. He’s agreed to forfeit $23,000, representing the amount he received in bribes.

Former state Sen. J. Kalani English also pleaded guilty to the same charge in a related case.

Both were scheduled to be sentenced on July 5. They each face up to 20 years in prison, but their actual sentences could be reduced because they pleaded guilty early.


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