Lingle names Public Safety director
Gov. Linda Lingle appointed First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Iwalani White yesterday to serve as director of the state Department of Public Safety.
The post, which oversees the state's Corrections and Law Enforcement divisions, was left open in November 2004 when then-Director John Peyton resigned so he could return to work in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
If her appointment is confirmed by the Senate, White will be responsible for state prisons and community correctional facilities as well as the Narcotics, Protective Services and Sheriffs divisions beginning Aug. 1.
Lingle said White's background as a prosecutor and Family Court judge would "contribute to her ability to effectively manage" the department because she "understands Hawaii's criminal and judicial systems."
White has been first deputy prosecuting attorney since 1997. She joined the city Department of the Prosecuting Attorney in 1982, and has specialized in Family Court issues, particularly juvenile justice and domestic violence.
From 1992 to 1997, White served as a District Family Court judge and has served on the Board of Bar Examiners for 19 years. She previously was on the board of the Hawaii State Bar Association.
She received her law degree from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and a bachelor's degree in sociology from UH-Manoa.
Jim Propotnick and Frank Lopez served as interim and acting directors of the department following the resignation of Peyton and interim Director Rick Bissen, who was sworn in as Circuit Court judge in April 2005.