First Deputy Corporation Counsel Edward Kushi has taken over management of the Department of the Corporation Counsel while department head Patrick Wong is on administrative leave, Mayor Michael Victorino said Monday.
“It’s important that the Department of the Corporation Counsel continue its important work efficiently and without interruption, and I’m confident that Mr. Kushi will provide the department with leadership needed now,” Mayor Victorino said. “Meanwhile, the case involving Mr. Wong will be forwarded to the state Department of the Attorney General after the Maui Police Department completes its investigation.”
“This matter needs to be dealt with quickly, thoroughly and above board,” Mayor Victorino said. “I want no hint of conflict of interest, so this case will be handled by the state Attorney General’s Office.”
Wong was arrested at 12:15 a.m. Saturday, March 9, by police at a residence in Wailuku. He was charged with abuse of a household member. He posted bail.
“I have zero tolerance for domestic abuse,” Mayor Victorino said. “Still, our justice system provides due process. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
Acting Prosecuting Attorney Don Guzman said that, in this case, the Maui Police Department will send the results of its investigation directly to the state Attorney General’s Office.
“Our office will not review reports, evidence or details of witness statements to preserve the integrity of the investigation, the county and the rights of everyone involved,” Guzman said.