It’s not just dysfunction which plagues the Office of the Maui’s Mayor, Mike Victorino; the comparison with Trump doesn’t end with that. The word of the day is…Corruption!
The Mayor is not just content to abuse his own powers by failing to enforce the Charter and County Ordinances and Rules which protect Maui’s environment; he and his faithful servant and advisor the Chief Gov’t Attorney, Moana Lutey, are trying to usurp the Council’s powers.
It’s official, the County Attorneys are actively and manipulatively blocking the Injection Well Settlement which the County Council voted to approve.
The County Council and the Mayor are called the constituents of the Corp Counsel County lawyers who represent the County. Our government attorneys are now acting against an approved resolution by the County to settle the case, because they didn’t get their way and don’t want the Council to settle the case. Why not? Because Mayor V and Moana Lutey like Donald Trump are representing, instead of Maui’s interests, the oil and coal interests outside of Maui who seek to weaken the Clean Water Act substantially, so that the polluting industries may have even more freedom to make even more money by polluting our most precious resource in nature; our water. The Special Counsel, Hunton, Alexander and Kurth, which Corp Counsel directs is set to make oral arguments on Nov 6th before the U.S. Supreme Court defending the Mayor’s position which has lost now twice in the Federal Courts. At least one former partner of Hunton, Alexander and Kurth was hired by Trumps EPA in 2017 and this June is being investigate for advocating for a gas industry association which was a Hunton client; essentially lobbying for a Hunton Client from inside the EPA. More details can be found at Maui Causes.org. The NYT, a law review and Sierra Club have written on this. The Sierra Club wrote that the EPA has been taken over by the polluter industries and now they have coopted this Mayor and his administration as well.
Mr. Mayor, in addition to acting outside your authority as Mayor; you are literally committing an outright assault on the very motto of the State of Hawaii; that, the Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness. There is nothing righteous about what you and your disreputable crony lawyers are doing. They are admitting that County law requires you to execute the agreement the Council voted on, but interpreting the clear letter of the law as violating law set forth in a case called Harris and the Honolulu Charter which doesn’t apply to our Maui County Charter which is clear on this point. The lawyers of the County have no authority or power to interpret clear and plain law differently from the Charter without seeking a judicial ruling, which they have not done. It’s corrupt to make new law…to break the law.
Similarily, the County lawyers did the same thing in the Upcountry Water Ordinance exempting Developers and Commerical properties from all roadway infrastructure costs which you, the taxpayer, now has to pay for. They broke the law…to make the law. And people like Yuki Lee Sugimura and Tasha Kama and Alice Lee who acknowledge the “mistake” made over two years ago to exempt these developers, are now doing it again. They just allowed the Developer who violated terms of his SMA permit in Olowalu leading to massive costly litigation to get preliminary subdivision approval WITH FREE EXEMPTIONS resulting from the two year old “mistake” on yet another property. Properties, like this one, which already received deferral from infrastructure improvement in a 3 lot or less Ordinance which is now under audit for being violated and abused; are getting additional exemptions VIOLATING YET ANOTHER ORDINANCE which requires all 4 lot subdivisions to complete all infrastructure improvements at their expense. NOW people of Maui, you’re going to be paying for a violator…developer’s infrastructure. We might as well just set up a Go Fund Me Account for Mr. Olowalu and all these other poor, struggling Island developers like A&B. If you don’t want to pay THEIR bill call the gang of four; the Mayor, Yuki, Alice Lee and Tasha Kama. I’m sure they really want to hear from you.
O.K. Back to the Clean Water Act.
Mayor Victorino and Moana Lutey are violating the Maui County Charter which states that resolutions approved by the Council have authority over the Mayor. They are violating the Hawaii Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct because a lawyer cannot be in a concurrent adverse relationship with one of their constituents. The Chair of the Counsel, Kelly King AND the Office of Council Services asked the Moana Lutey to get an opinion from their supervisory body, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, as to whether they can continue to direct the case heading to the Supreme Court on November 6th. Did our Chief County Attorney Lutey do what they asked….nahhhhh. And they’re not going to because they are Watergate. Mauigate Attorneys being given free reign in this administration, by a Mayor who is now becoming as corrupt as they are. The Mayor is’ tasked by the County Charter with the duty and power to enforce the ordinances of the County and one of those ordinances happens to be that the Council has the authority to settle litigation over a certain dollar amount. The Council settled the case. The Mayor is failing to perform his duties. He is also violating a section of the County Charter 2:2 which states that a resolution approved by the Council has authority over the Mayor. The Mayor has breached his duties under the Charter and is now acting outside his authority by failing to withdraw the Injection Well case from the Supreme Court after the Council voted to settle the case. This alone should be an impeachable offense.
The Corporation Counsel County Attorney also failed to advise the Council appropriately as to the conflicts of interest in their representation of both the Mayor and the Council. And, in a most arrogant display of an abuse of power yet, Moana Lutey, the head county attorney wrote the Supreme Court twice stating erroneously that she is the sole authority representing the County in this case, where she has ACKNOWLEDGED that she is conflicted from representing either the Mayor or the Council any further, and yet despite this fact, directed the U.S. Supreme Court that the case should go forward, DESPITE the Council voting to settle the case and, despite, not getting a legal opinion from their supervisory body.
It should be noted that The County Attorneys lead by Moana Lutey also previously tried to mislead the Council during settlement hearings, usurp the power of the County to settle the case and tried to insert language into the settlement agreement which would have given them power over both the Mayor AND the Council. Such language violates the cardinal rule that a Client has final say over settlement terms; not a Client’s attorneys. Who’s running the County anyway? Oh yeah, that’s right, corrupt Administration Government Attorneys of the Department of the Corporation Counsel. The Council’s attorneys have integrity and have been pushing back against this abuse by the Mayor’s Watergate attorneys.
I’ve been saying for some time that the actions of the Dept. of Government Attorneys is as bad as Watergate. And now the chickens are coming home to roost. And everyone watching knows; Maui County has lots of chickens.
And, just like with Trump, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Govenment attorneys directed by Moana Lutey have a track record of systemic abuse of their power and have been called out by the Court for weaponizing the Tax division against taxpayers in a case which may significantly harm Maui’s bond rating. They act like the mob and the Mayor acts like their mob boss. Corp Counsel has corrupted many administrations and they must finally be routed. If the Mayor is going to facilitate their unlawful acts, which are often facilitated to cover-up prior wrongdoing, then the Mayor and his attorneys must be impeached and held responsible.
Again, they are harming the very County residents who they are entrusted and paid to serve. This is your wake-up call Maui County.
Even the new Honolulu Police Commissioner said that transparency is necessary for accountability. After the Kealohas were convicted, the Commission finally released the minutes of a meeting which reveals how the now disgraced Police Chief received a high paid pension after he was indicted. Perhaps this Mayor might take a lesson from this act of integrity in government… while he still gets to be the Mayor, and maybe for not much longer.
So, time for the Wrap Up.
Maui Real News believes that Victorino and his Corp Counsel Moana Lutey are violating the County Charter Section 2:2, Ordinance, and established municipality law by refusing to effectuate the Council’s Resolution which was passed to settle the case. This is a clear abuse of power by both the Mayor and his Corp Counsel Moana Lutey.
The Mayor and his Corp Counsel Lutey also appear to be covering-up a long term scandal of corruption involving the Departments of Planning and Public Works. This corruption being covered up by the Mayor and his lawyers. Michael Victorino is on his way to become the likes of Donald Trump and Richard Nixon.
Stay tuned for more updates.
And finally a Shout out to the Mayor:
Mr. Victorino, you are an outspoken Catholic Christian who goes off island to attend conferences for the Knights of Columbus. You stated to your supporters before and after you ran for office, that you were going to clean-up corruption, resolve outstanding harm it has caused, and hold those responsible, accountable. You then became Mayor and appointed the same bad actors who caused corruption like Patrick Wong, David Goode, and John Kim. Mr. Mayor, hypocrisy is the one thing which Jesus condemns in the Holy Scriptures. Stating one thing and doing the opposite is hypocrisy, the leaven of the Pharisees. You say that you’re a man of your word, but, so far, your “word” doesn’t seem to amount to anything? You say one thing, and do the opposite. But, don’t worry, I’m not The Just Judge. It is not I whom you will have to explain yourself to. But, a word to the wise; I don’t believe that your attending Knights of Columbus conferences, while they may make you feel good about yourself, will be a credit to you when you’re simultaneously harming those who counted on you, and deceiving those whom you were elected to serve. Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words.
I personally believe that the Mayor should be impeached for covering-up fraud, abusing his power and stopping the settlement resolution voted on and approved by the County Council from getting to the Supreme Court. I believe that his Corporation Counsel should be fired, suspended or disbarred from the practice of law, or impeached by the County residents (if the Mayor continues to hav no kahones) when all her numerous charges and ethical violations are exposed.
In a P.S. To this breaking news: I want to let my viewers know that a Complaint has been filed, by me, against Yuki-Lei Sugimura with the State Office of Information Practices alleging that she is in violation of the Sunshine Law by making unlawful serial communications by email to other Council Members and their staff, along with posting on Facebook, a press release by the Mayor, before the vote on the injection well settlement. The Sunshine Law forbids a council member to do this. The Council and their staff members staff had recent informational seminars with the OIP clearly educating them on what constitutes a Sunshine Law violation, so Yuki was fully aware that she couldn’t do.
Furthermore, an Ethics Complaint was filed against Moana Lutey, and her associate deputies Jennifer Oana and Ed Kushi regarding their role in approving the 2 Lot Ordinance which it has been alleged unlawfully granted free infrastructure to commercial without public notice.
The Ethics Board has informed me that Corp Counsel is conflicted from advising them as to this Complaint and they are seeking the Counsel to approve special counsel to advise them in this matter.
Will they be held accountable? Will the Mayor continue to head down, what appears to be, a road to impeachment?
Thanks for staying tuned in and staying informed as Maui Real News continues reporting on and exposing corruption on Maui, by keeping it real, and giving it to you straight, just the way you like it.
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