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Former Hawaii senator with troubled past wants another chance

Former state Sen. Melodie Aduja, who was booted by voters 10 years ago after a scandal involving her campaign spending account, wants another shot in the Legislature.

Aduja, an lawyer first elected in 2000 as a Democrat to represent Kahuku and Kaneohe on Oahu, was under scrutiny by the Campaign Spending Commission in 2004 after the state agency opened a very public investigation into her campaign finances.

The investigation was initiated after the commission said Aduja failed to justify thousands of dollars in campaign spending and had made other campaign violations.

The investigation showed Aduja’s campaign issued $30,000 worth of checks to her former husband, Lee Williams, and never provided receipts, then Campaign Spending Commission Executive Director Bob Watada Watada said. Williams subsequently was arrested during a Chinatown drug bust.

Aduja’s campaign also didn’t report a $3,000 loan that was issued or what the loan was used for, Watada said.

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