Cayetano picksStaff and wire reports
If Sen. Randy Iwase is appointed to the state Labor and Industrial Relations Appeals Board, Gov. Ben Cayetano said he will appoint either Rep. Ron Menor or Rep. Marilyn Lee to fill the vacancy created by Iwase's departure.
The appointment would take effect June 30, when the term of office is over for the present labor board chairman, Frank Yap, Jr.
Yap had sought to stay on for another term, but Cayetano said the attorney didn't support Cayetano's government reform proposals.
Yap yesterday denied that, saying that he and Cayetano had disagreed over restructuring the office, but that he wasn't against reforming government.
Cayetano is seeking a replacement senator for Iwase. He says both Lee and Menor represent the same area as Iwase. He noted that Menor is a former state senator.
Finally, Sen. Colleen Hanabusa said Iwase should resign from the Senate so she and other senators won't be in the uncomfortable position of having to vote on the conformation of a colleague.
Hanabusa, a labor attorney, said she probably will vote against Iwase because he doesn't have experience in labor issues and workers' compensation cases, which make up most of the appeals board's work.
She also pointed to the state law that says sitting board members should be reappointed as long as operations have been efficient.
Iwase, also an attorney, said Hanabusa's concerns are legitimate and will be addressed at his confirmation hearing.
Cayetano said Iwase shouldn't have to resign from the Senate before the confirmation vote.
Hanabusa's concerns are similar to those raised when former Gov. George Ariyoshi appointed House Speaker James Wakatsuki to be a Circuit Court judge, Cayetano said.
The attorney general's office issued an opinion that Wakatsuki could remain in the House until he won confirmation as a judge, he said.