Monday, August 21, 2023


West Maui residents sue Chair Dawn Chang over Transfer of Deputy

From the news release sent Aug. 21, 2023:

West Maui residents sue Chair Dawn Chang over Transfer of Deputy


Lahaina -- West Maui kamaʻāina Kekai Keahi and Jen Kamaho'i Mather filed 

suit today in First Circuit Court against Dawn N.S. Chang, BLNR and 

Water Commission chair and the Water Commission for actions Chang 

purported to take transferring Water Commission Deputy Kaleo Manuel out 

of the Commission on August 16, 2023.

State law provides that the Water Commission is the only entity 

empowered to take personnel actions on the Deputy and that those actions 

must occur during an open meeting. Failure to allow the community notice 

and opportunity to testify at an open meeting about those proposed 

decisions is a violation of the Sunshine Law.

If the Commission were to delegate authority over the deputy to the 

Chairperson, that delegation would also have to occur at an open 

meeting. No such meeting has occurred.

Keahi and Mather are asking that the transfer decision be voided and 

that the Court instruct the Water Commission that it must comply with 

the Sunshine Law before taking any such action in the future -- 

regarding transfer or delegating that authority to the chair.

"The West Maui community needs stability and consistency right now in 

the midst of disaster relief efforts. Knee-jerk edicts issued behind 

closed doors in Honolulu sow confusion and discord and distract us from 

our greater purpose," said the Plaintiffs' attorney Lance D. Collins.

Keahi and Mather are also represented by Bianca Isaki and Ryan D. Hurley.

Keahi and Mather are both actively engaged in relief efforts in West 

Maui daily and request that all media inquiries be directed to their 



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