Transcripts of testimony on Young are released
The state Senate released testimony yesterday of closed session meetings from the confirmation hearings of natural resources head Peter Young, but withheld portions of the transcripts including comments from investigators.
Attorney General Mark Bennett had requested that several employees of the Bureau of Conveyances be heard in an executive session because their testimony could have affected the investigation.
Members of the Senate Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs Committee asked the employees about gifts from title companies, the bureau's interactions with them and grievances among workers.
Bennett's office reviewed the transcripts, removing some sections of testimony. It's unclear how much of the hearings was removed.
The Senate also didn't release transcripts from testimony of Dennis Naganuma, an investigator with the Office of the Attorney General, who testified directly about the investigation, and Hilton Lui, an investigator working for the State Ethics Commission, who testified about an ongoing Ethics Commission investigation.
The redacted transcripts covered testimony by employees Kaiulani Lambert, Zelei Abordo, Scot Chang and Harriet Enrique.
Public testimony throughout the week revealed that the probe involves the alteration of titles using a computer donated to the department.
Young had initiated the investigation himself, but the closed-door hearings prompted speculation that the matter reflected on his management of the department.
Young's confirmation, expected to be voted on this week, had been delayed pending release of the edited transcript.
Gov. Linda Lingle this week called Young's drawn-out confirmation a "kangaroo court" that has turned into a mudslinging contest after two weeks of hearings.
Senators claim they're simply investigating complaints to find out if Young has done a good job before they reconfirm him to a second four-year term as chairman for the Department of Land and Natural Resources.