Judge to hear candidacy case

WAILUKU – A 2nd Circuit judge is being asked to consider whether Neldon Mamuad is qualified to remain on the ballot as a mayoral candidate, following a preliminary ruling last week that he should be disqualified.

A hearing on the matter is set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday before Judge Peter Cahill.

Maui County Clerk Danny Mateo made the preliminary ruling disqualifying Mamuad, a former Maui County Liquor Commission member, after finding that he hadn’t submitted his financial disclosure statement when he filed nomination papers to run for Maui County mayor.

In a complaint filed Thursday in 2nd Circuit Court seeking a judicial determination on Mamuad’s qualification to remain on the ballot, the county clerk’s office said that Mamuad submitted his nomination papers on June 3 – the filing deadline – but didn’t file the financial disclosure statement concurrently as is required by Maui County Charter.

Two days later, on June 5, a senior election clerk called Mamuad and informed him that his nomination papers did not contain the required financial disclosure statement, according to the complaint. After the conversation, Mamuad sent email to the clerk at the clerk’s office and included his financial disclosure statement as an attachment, the complaint says

According to his financial disclosure statement, Mamuad earns between $50,000 and $99,999 a year as director of event technology for PSAV-1 of Lanai City. The business provides audio visual and event technology support to hotels.

Before resigning to run for mayor, he reported earning between $1,000 and $9,999 a year from a job as a part-time aide to Maui County Council Member Don Guzman.

His wife earns between $10,000 and $24,999 from a job with HMS Host, a Kahului company providing food and beverages to travelers, according to the statement.

Mamuad also reported being owner of AZD & Associates of Makawao and vice president of Hui No Ke Ola Pono, a nonprofit Native Hawaiian health organization.

Mamuad was required to resign from the county Liquor Commission to run for mayor.

In a news release last week, Mamuad said that he would fight the disqualification. He said he there was a “miscommunication” between him and county clerk’s office staff over use of financial disclosure forms that were already on file for him as a liquor commissioner.

In his news release, Mamuad characterized the failure to file the financial disclosure statement as “an honest mistake exploited by the incumbent’s political operatives for political gain.”

Attorney Richard Minatoya, who filed the complaint about Mamuad’s candidacy, has said he is not a “political operative.”

Mayor Alan Arakawa’s re-election campaign has said it was not involved in the complaint.