Governor fills five administrative posts - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Governor fills five administrative posts

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. Neil Abercrombie Thursday appointed of five directors and deputy directors to administration positions.

The appointments are:

· Gregory Jackson, Director of the Office of Veteran Services

· Jesse Souki, Director of the Office of Planning

· Russell A. Suzuki, First Deputy Attorney General

· Keith Kamita, Deputy Director of Law Enforcement for the Department of Public Safety

· Martha Torney, Deputy Director of Administration for the Department of Public Safety

The selections come after a process that began with applicants submitting their resumes through the transition web site, NewDayHawaii.org.

The process, led by Transition Director Bill Kaneko, includes collecting input from the community and several rounds of interviews before Abercrombie makes the final decision.

ABOUT THE APPOINTEES: Gregory Jackson, 37,  (Director of Office of Veteran Services) was a captain and a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force for six years. He is also prior Army enlisted and pending accession into the Army Reserves as a captain and a Judge Advocate.

In addition to prosecuting all manner of military crimes, Jackson crafted legal opinions on civil law, including contracts and federal acquisition, ethics, environmental law, labor law and other issues affecting military operations. Jackson deployed to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007.

He currently works at the Law Offices of Paul Cunney practicing criminal defense in state court and military courts-martial, was also an Associate Attorney at Goodsill Anderson Quinn and Stifel prior to joining the Air Force. Jackson received his Bachelor's degree in English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.

Jesse Souki (Director of Office of Planning) is the city Deputy Corporation Counsel, where he advises on regulatory issues on the city's rail transit project among other responsibilities.

Prior to that, he was a Senior Associate at Imanaka Kudo & Fujimoto LLLC, Deputy Corporation Counsel at the County of Maui, and a law clerk at Hawai'i State Judiciary in Wailuku. Souki, 36, received his Bachelor's in Economics and Master's in Political Science from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and his law degree from Seattle University School of Law.

Russell A. Suzuki (First Deputy Attorney General) has been a government attorney for 29 years and has served as counsel to the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the Department of Accounting and General Services, the Department of Budget and Finance, the Department of Education, the University of Hawaii, and the State Judiciary.

As a deputy attorney general, Suzuki was the state's lead attorney for more than a decade in the Felix consent decree litigation involving the delivery of mental health services to disabled children. Suzuki, 58, is a graduate of Leilehua High School, the University of Hawai'i and the Ohio State University Law School.

Keith Kamita (Deputy Director of Law Enforcement for DPS) has been a Narcotics Investigator for over 24 years, 17 of which were as the Chief of the Narcotics Enforcement Division in DPS. As Chief of this division, Kamita coordinated the implementation of several new enforcement programs including, Hawaii's electronic prescription monitoring and pseudoephedrine tracking systems.

Kamita, 52, graduated from Chaminade University with a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Academy.

Martha Torney (Deputy Director of Administration for DPS) is a criminologist with more than 35 years of practical experience in juvenile and adult justice system. Torney, 61, worked at multiple levels and held various positions at the Department of Public Safety and was the former Executive Director of the Office of Youth Services.

She was a college instructor for 20 years, offering courses in sociology, criminology and justice administration. Torney studied sociology and received her Master's and Bachelor's degrees from UH-Manoa.

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