Liquor director selection reportedly down to two
Son of former director still in the running
The Maui News
The search for a new Maui County Liquor Control director appears to have been narrowed to two candidates, including a current liquor control officer who is the son of a former liquor control director.
Layne Silva, who has worked for the Department of Liquor Control for 21 years, and Timothy Poindexter, a former California Highway Patrol sergeant who is currently director of safety and security at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu, are the two candidates who are being considered for the job, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Although two other finalists for the position are listed on the agenda of a Liquor Control Commission special meeting today, only Silva and Poindexter have been asked to be available for additional interviews, the source said.
Public testimony will be taken at the meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. and will be held by videoconference. People can attend or testify at the meeting by videoconference using the link https://bluejeans.com/200439852 or by phone by calling (408) 915-6290 and entering meeting ID code 200439852.
The department is responsible for the regulation and control of the importation, manufacture, sale and service of alcoholic beverages.
Under former director Glenn Mukai, the department faced criticism over major rule changes that were passed without proper public review and notice. Some of the changes, including allowing 24-hour retail sales of liquor and imposing stringent requirements on nonprofit groups seeking single-event licenses to serve alcohol, were later rolled back by the Liquor Control Commission.
In 2018, a Maui County Council audit of the department and commission found longstanding issues of operating in an “inconsistent and arbitrary” manner and “not fulfilling . . . mandated responsibilities.” Mukai said the audit covered periods beyond his tenure as director, including the time when Frank Silva was director.
In public meetings, some commissioners have said they support numerous requests by licensees for changes in the department.
But while some commission members publicly have said they want to “change the culture” of the department, “behind closed doors that’s not the case,” the source said.
“It’s the good old boy network,” the source said.
After Mukai retired in February, the department placed one advertisement in The Maui News and two in an Oahu newspaper, generating only applications from within the department, the source said. In June, the commission voted to spend $24,000 of its funding from licensees to hire a recruitment specialist to expand the search for a new director.
In September, a temporary investigative group charged with helping recruit and interview qualified candidates recommended four finalists, also including Deputy Corporation Counsel Peter Hanano and Thomas Higgins, who was lead flight chief for the Air Force civilian police.
Layne Silva is a Maui High School graduate who served in the U.S. Army and has been a coach for various youth sports for 17 years. He is the son of Frank Silva, who retired as liquor control director in 2015.
Poindexter retired as a sergeant in 2010 after more than 29 years with the California Highway Patrol. He also had worked as a firefighter in California. On Maui, Poindexter was chief investigator with the state Department of Human Services before working as director of safety and security for the Westin Maui Resort and Spa.
“It appears that everybody agrees that one person has way more leadership skills and experience and is definitely in a different culture,” the source said, referring to Poindexter. “But some still say they just want to stay with the norm, and they’re willing to take the chance that he’s going to be different, even though he’s never had any different training.”
Before Mukai was appointed director, the commission in October 2015 appointed Dana Souza to the position. Souza, the son of former liquor director Joseph Souza, later declined to accept the job.