Ed Kubo's nomination as judge may be in jeopardy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ed Kubo's nomination as judge may be in jeopardy

Ed Kubo Ed Kubo
Senator Sam Slom Senator Sam Slom
Senator Brian Taniguchi (on right) Senator Brian Taniguchi (on right)
Senate Committee Senate Committee

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The nomination of a former U.S. Attorney to be a circuit court judge is in jeopardy.

Ed Kubo served as a high-profile U.S. attorney in Hawaii from 2001 to 2009. Gov. Lingle's move to nominate him to the circuit court bench drew widespread praise.

"There was overwhelming outpouring, from all sectors of the community, about this man's qualifications. And at no time was his integrity, his experience, his honesty, anything, questioned whatsoever," Sen. Sam Slom said at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Governmental Affairs Committee.

But committee chair Brian Taniguchi recommended against confirming Kubo's nomination, because of letters that were extremely critical of Kubo from two deputy U.S. attorneys who worked under him.

One of the former subordinates brought up a 1997 case, in which a federal judge ordered then-Deputy U.S. Attorney Kubo to write letters of apology when he failed to return to court after a power outage at the federal courthouse.

Taniguchi feels Kubo withheld that information from the state's Judicial Selection Commission, which helps pick judicial nominees.

"We felt he probably should have disclosed that. And I think what I was looking for this morning was some acknowledgement of that," Taniguchi said.

The committee deadlocked on the nomination in a 3-3 vote.

The deadlock means the nomination will still go to the full senate for a vote, which could come as soon as Friday.

Kubo declined comment after the committee vote.

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