EnvironmentalistBy Bruce Dunford
nominated for Circuit
Michael Wilson, former Department of Land and Natural Resources chief, has been nominated by Gov. Ben Cayetano to be a Circuit Court judge.
Wilson ran the department for four years but was not reappointed early last year, reportedly because of complaints by staff members about his management.
So Cayetano named him executive director of the state Division of Consumer Advocacy.
Wilson is nominated to succeed Circuit Judge Wendell Huddy, whose retirement takes effect next month. His appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation.
Wilson is known as a strong environmentalist who helped gain the environmental community's support for Cayetano's 1998 re-election.
"I am confident Mike Wilson's vast wealth of legal experience, both in private practice and state government, combined with his keen sense of civic duty will serve him well in the judiciary," Cayetano said.
Wilson "has the intelligence, compassion, judicial temperament and integrity to be an outstanding judge," he said.
Senate Judiciary Committee co-chairman Matt Matsunaga (D, Kahala-Waialae-Palolo), whose committee will hold hearings on Wilson's confirmation, said he has known Wilson for about 10 years "and, from my understanding, he is known as a very good attorney."
Wilson, a 1971 graduate of Antioch School of Law in Washington, was the key attorney in the fight to preserve land across from Oahu's Sandy Beach from housing development. He also ran unsuccessfully for Honolulu mayor in 1992.
In private practice, he was a partner in the law firm of Pavey Wilson & Glickstein from 1986 to 1994. He was a partner with Brook Hart and Peter Wolff from 1981 to 1986.