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4 finalists named in liquor director search

Pick for new leader could come in 2 weeks

A Maui County attorney and a county liquor control officer are among four finalists for the county liquor department director job, the county Liquor Control Commission announced Wednesday afternoon.

In a news release following a special meeting Wednesday, the commission released only the names of the four finalists who will be interviewed at a special meeting Oct. 14. There was no further information about the candidates.

The Maui News was able to obtain some background information on three of the candidates:

• Peter Hanano, a deputy corporation counsel with Maui County. He also served as a first deputy prosecuting attorney during the Charmaine Tavares mayoral administration. 

• Layne N. Silva, a liquor control officer with the department. He is the son of retired county Liquor Control Director Frank Silva. He has been with the department for 21 years.

• Timothy R. Poindexter, a former sergeant with the California Highway Patrol. He is currently the director of Safety and Security at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu.

• Thomas P. Higgins, a Maui resident. His occupation could not be confirmed Wednesday evening.

Commission Chairman Nane Aluli said after the meeting that interviews with the candidates will be conducted in executive session and that the commission hopes to make a selection Oct. 14 or 15. The commission has allotted at least two hours per candidate for interviews.

Aluli said Wednesday that he would have background information on the candidates available today.

The commission is working to replace former Director Glenn Mukai, who retired in February, after three sometimes turbulent years at the helm. Mukai took over the department in June 2016, following an eight-month hiring process. His selection followed the departure of Silva, who retired after 22 years as director in 2015.

Mukai, who was a former deputy director when appointed, was actually a second choice. The commission had named Dana Souza, a Makawao commission member, to fill the vacancy, but he declined. He is the son of former department Director Joseph Souza.

Deputy Director Georgette Tyau is filling in as interim director. 

Mukai made $139,133 annually.

During the multiple special meetings to discuss candidates, the other applicants’ names that came up in public oral testimony were Wailuku attorney David Jorgensen; Ken Takemoto, an Oahu resident and former chief liquor control investigator with the Honolulu Liquor Commission; and Malama Minn, also of Oahu and a current co-vice chairwoman of the Honolulu Liquor Commission. 

This story contains a correction from Thursday’s printed version.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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