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Longtime deputy tapped to be next top prosecutor

Position open after former prosecuting attorney was fired

Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Martin delivers arguments for the prosecution during the murder trial of Kumulipo Sylva in October 2019. Martin has been appointed prosecuting attorney by Mayor Michael Victorino and must now be confirmed by the Maui County Council. The Maui News / COLLEEN UECHI photo

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Martin has been tapped to lead Maui County’s Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, which has been rocked by months of hearings and probes over a hostile working environment tied to its former leader.

Announced Wednesday afternoon, Martin’s appointment by Mayor Michael Victorino must receive Maui County Council approval.

Martin, who has about 10 years with the county as a deputy prosecuting attorney, said the appointment is the highlight of his career.

“I am incredibly honored that it is for my adopted home of Maui, where my wife, my family and I have made our home for 15, 16 years now,” he said during a county news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Martin lauded employees of the Prosecuting Attorney’s office and vowed to collaborate with staff to build a modern, forward-thinking department.

Mayor Michael Victorino (right) announced Wednesday that he had appointed Andrew Martin as Maui County prosecuting attorney following the departure of Don Guzman. Martin has to be confirmed by the Maui County Council. Maui County photo

“The 84 hard-working, dedicated employees that I’ve worked with for so many years are among the best people I have ever known,” he said. “More than anything else, I want to make them proud.”

The head prosecuting attorney position opened in early December after Victorino submitted and the council approved a resolution to remove then-Prosecuting Attorney Don Guzman.

County trial attorney Leslee Matthews filed a violence in the workplace complaint against Guzman that led to an independent investigation last fall. The report concluded Guzman had violated county workplace violence rules.

During county hearings, several department employees, along with Martin, testified on volatile run-ins with Guzman.

Victorino announced the appointment of Martin earlier Wednesday to department staff.

“Let’s not dwell on the past, let’s look at the present and make the future better,” Victorino said. “I believe Andrew can lead you in that direction.”

After the announcement, Matthews said that Martin is an “excellent appointee.”

“Mr. Martin is a phenomenal leader and an experienced, intelligent deputy prosecuting attorney, with years of experience in a wide breadth of cases,” she told The Maui News on Wednesday evening. “He truly cares about our community, the people we serve and the employees in our office.”

Martin has been a county deputy prosecuting attorney since February 2015 and from September 2005 to March 2010, a county news release said.

His responsibilities have included administrative oversight of attorneys in the Circuit Court, Family Court, Felony Screening, Appellate, and Vehicular Homicide and Road Safety Units.

As Circuit Court supervisor, he has directly supervised 16 trial attorneys for all felony and misdemeanor jury trial cases.

Martin was in private practice in Wailuku from March 2010 to February 2015.

Earlier in his career, he worked as a prosecuting attorney for the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office.

Martin received his Juris Doctor from the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in May 2003 and his bachelor of arts degree from the University of San Diego in August 1999.

Victorino said in a news release that Martin is highly qualified and comes with a wealth of experience.

“I am confident (he) will serve our residents well and strengthen law enforcement throughout Maui County,” he said.

The department, which is responsible for prosecuting people who violate state or county criminal and traffic laws, employs deputy prosecuting attorneys, legal support staff, investigators and victim/witness counselors.

The department head is among the county’s highest paying director positions at $149,507.

* Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at kcerizo@mauinews.com.

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