Senate subpoenas 10 for key testimony
The witnesses are expected to criticize two Lingle nominees
The state Senate is issuing subpoenas to force witnesses to testify in two controversial appointments.
Sen. Clayton Hee confirmed yesterday that the Senate has issued a subpoena for former Deputy Prosecutor Lynne McGivern to appear tomorrow before his Judiciary Committee.
And Sen. Will Espero, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said nine subpoenas are to be issued to Public Safety Department employees who are expected to testify against the nomination of Iwalani White as public safety director.
"Since they are current staff members, they feel a subpoena will provide them added protection if they speak out against their director," said Espero (D, Ewa-Honouliuli-Ewa Beach).
Hee (D, Kahuku-Kaneohe) said McGivern, now with the law firm Ashford and Wriston, will testify about Glenn Kim, a deputy prosecutor nominated to the Circuit Court.
Hee said he and Senate President Colleen Hanabusa met with McGivern on Sunday and that McGivern would agree to testify only if required to by force of subpoena.
Witnesses subpoenaed to counter Lingle picks
Senators are using their legislative subpoena powers to get critical witnesses to testify against Lingle administration nominees for Cabinet officials and court nominees.
So far, nine subpoenas have been issued for the committee handling the confirmation of Iwalani White as public safety director, and one in the nomination of Glenn Kim to the Circuit Court.
Attorney Lynne McGivern confirmed that she had been subpoenaed for tomorrow's Judiciary hearing. McGivern was Kim's supervisor when she worked as a deputy prosecutor.
Another former prosecutor, Liza Tom, has called Kim "mean-spirited and wholly unsuited to the bench as a judge."
"Her comments were not supportive of the nominee," Hee said yesterday in an interview.
McGivern, a former deputy prosecuting attorney, had been Kim's supervisor. She declined to comment yesterday except to confirm that she will comply with the subpoena to testify.
Kim's nomination ran into trouble last month when another former deputy prosecutor, Liza Tom, now a Los Angeles County deputy prosecutor, wrote to Hee.
Tom called Kim "a manager profoundly lacking in integrity, fundamental fairness and high moral principles."
Yesterday, Tom said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles that Kim "has had problems with a lot of other people."
She said Kim had insulted and belittled her while reviewing her first trial as a deputy prosecutor.
"When it came to us as deputies, he did not treat us correctly, he was not fair with us and he took away all our discretion," Tom said.
Kim did not return calls asking for comment. Other deputy prosecutors had praised Kim, saying he would make an excellent judge.
In the other case, Iwalani White, a former Family Court judge and first deputy prosecutor, is Gov. Linda Lingle's nominee to head the Public Safety Department, which includes the state's prisons, narcotics enforcement and the Sheriffs Division.
Espero said White will be given a chance to answer her critics during her confirmation hearing, set for next Tuesday.
The subpoenaed witnesses are expected to testify in opposition to White's appointment, according to Espero.
"It appears there is some discontent within the department," Espero said.
Linda Smith, Lingle's senior policy adviser, said the governor "continues to believe that both nominees are qualified candidates, and when all the evidence is in, she hopes the senators will approve their nominations."
Speaking about White, Smith said, "We know she is someone who has taken on a very tough assignment, and she is someone who has risen to the occasion."
Espero, however, said Public Safety Department employees have told him there are concerns with the operation of the Women's Community Correctional Center in Kailua and that employees who had been disciplined were then cleared of all allegations.