Liu cleared in contract award dispute


POSTED: Thursday, July 02, 2009

A top state official will not face criminal prosecution for selecting a company for a contract even though the evaluation committee he appointed ranked it as the lowest among three bidders.

;[Preview]  Liu Avoids Criminal Charges

There will be no criminal charges against state business director Ted Liu after a state senate panel accused him of steering a 9 million dollar contract to a bidder he favored.

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Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said yesterday that after reviewing the actions of Ted Liu, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, his office found no probable cause that a crime was committed.

“;The prosecution of such a case under the laws that govern government attorneys would be unethical,”; Carlisle said.

Liu said he is grateful of the findings, which validate what he has said from the beginning: “;We made a mistake and we corrected the mistake.”;

The case involved awarding a contract to manage the state's $8.7 million hydrogen energy investment fund.

Liu chose H2 Energy over Kolohala Holdings, which the committee ranked as the top of three bidders.


Kolohala appealed Liu's selection. The state Procurement Office ordered the department to award the contract to Kolohala, which Liu said he did.

Carlisle said the department dragged its feet before Kolohala was awarded the contract.

And by that time, the state Senate began an investigation into Liu's actions.

The Senate investigative committee concluded that Liu violated the procurement law, which is a misdemeanor, and referred the case to the attorney general for prosecution.

Attorney General Mark Bennett referred the case to Carlisle to remove any appearance of conflict.

Bennett and Liu are both members of Gov. Linda Lingle's cabinet.