All’s fair in love and war: Public Works internal report leaked to Maui Causes alleges Director McLean personally gained through Permit Abuse

Mike Victorino has started a war between Public Works and Planning over his proposed Waikapu Country Town public-private partnership and Greg Brown’s monster Hotel that destroys the quaint character of Napili Bay.

The partnership proposal Mayor Victorino just announced was brokered by Mancini, Welch, and Geiger, attorneys for both Waikapu developer Mike Atherton and Napili developer Greg Brown.

Victorino and Planning Director Michele McLean, a long-time foot soldier for Mancini, sold out the Napili Bay community allowing Greg Brown to violate every rule in the book in an apparent trade for Victorino’s ego-driven Waikapu project.

Planning Director McLean’s relentless and illegal protection of Greg Brown’s violations triggered the war with Public Works, the latest casualty of which is Public Works Director Rowena DagDag-Andaya, who resigned last week.

A previous casualty was DSA Supervising Inspector Derek Hyland who resigned a few weeks ago citing workplace intimidation flowing from the Mayor’s office over the Stop-Work Orders he issued to Greg Brown.

Inspector Hyland based the Stop-Work Orders on Title 19’s “Validity of Permit” ordinance which nullifies any permit acquired through misrepresentation.

Director McLean continues to ignore Brown’s misrepresentations and this week illegally forced a lifting of the Stop Work orders. Construction has now resumed on Brown’s ”monster hotel”.  (Look for coming calls to support community and legal action to shut Brown down.)

But the war between Public Works and Planning is escalating in some very interesting ways with a newly-leaked internal investigation that alleges Michelle McLean violated her professional standing as Planning Director to personally earn $385,000 in 2021 by flipping a Maui residence, performing massive structural renovations without any of the required building permits.

The report includes time-stamped, high-resolution aerial photography that DSA inspectors use to track construction to show that McLean’s husband Paul, who is a builder but not a General Contractor as required for flipping, began making major structural renovations with no permits just as Maui went into Covid Lockdown in April of 2020. The McLeans sold the property less than a year after construction.

In a text exchange with Chris Salem, who blew the whistle on Greg Brown almost a year ago and was wrongfully terminated from his job in the Mayor’s office for doing so, former DSA Inspector Hyland suggested the report was leaked because it is being suppressed by the Victorino administration and was a factor in Director Dagdag-Andaya’s resignation.

“I have heard she wanted to pick up where I left off on Validity of Permit and a higher hand shut her down,” wrote Mr. Hyland, “I was told she was sick of the corruption and looking the other way within DSA and Planning, and she bailed.”

McLean has called it “fiction” but the 52-page report is filled with internal County documents and public records that seem legitimate.

You can read the entire report on Maui Causes’ website:

This war is sure to continue and the casualty list is likely to grow, perhaps with Director McLean following in the resigning footsteps of other Planning Department personnel, Rulan Waikiki and John Rapacz, both original facilitators of Brown’s unlawful permit abuse.

However it plays out, Mayor Victorino’s amazingly negligent and unprofessional management continues to  drive Maui County into chaos and enormous financial waste.

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