Honolulu police panel nominee withdraws after denying Hawaii racism

HONOLULU — A white man nominated by Honolulu’s mayor to fill a vacancy on the police commission withdrew his name from consideration Friday after receiving criticism for saying there’s no racism in Hawaii.

Larry Ignas, 77, said at a City Council meeting Wednesday that he doesn’t believe racial discrimination exists in Hawaii.

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Mayor Rick Blangiardi, who is also white, said Friday that Ignas has lived in Hawaii for 34 years and came highly recommended.

“However, under the circumstances and given the expectations, he is withdrawing his name from consideration to the Honolulu Police Commission,” Blangiardi said in a statement. “I will work on vetting a new candidate to nominate to this very important position.”

The mayor said he initially felt it was necessary to have someone with law enforcement experience, however that will not be one of his requirements moving forward.

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Ignas founded the private security firm Star Protection Agency and later ran United Security Alarms. He was a police officer in East Chicago, Indiana, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Ignas didn’t immediately return a phone message left with his wife Friday.

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