New directors named for Public Safety Department and DHHL

Ted Sakai
Ted Sakai
Jodie Maesaka-Hirata
Jodie Maesaka-Hirata

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Governor Neil Abercrombie Friday announced the appointment of a new Director of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) and a change at the Public Safety Department (PSD).

Governor Abercrombie will appoint Ted Sakai as the new Director for Public Safety, effective June 1, 2012.

Mr. Sakai held the position during the Cayetano Administration. Jodie Maesaka-Hirata, the current Director, will take on the role of Deputy Director of Corrections, which was left vacant by Joe Booker who moved to the mainland.

"This move came at the suggestion from Jodie who is dedicated to seeing the Justice Reinvestment Initiative implemented," said Governor Abercrombie. "Jodie has shown true leadership by having the desire to put the public interest first, and that meant committing herself to the Corrections area of Public Safety where she has a wealth of knowledge and experience. With Ted as Director, I am confident that we will accomplish exactly what Jodie and our team have in mind, which is to bring our inmates who are housed on the mainland back home and to move the JRI program forward."

For nearly 27 years, Ted Sakai, 65, worked in a variety of executive positions in the State's corrections system. From 1998 to 2002, he served as the Director of Public Safety.

Mr. Sakai stated, "I've been following what's taken place regarding the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and I believe it provides a great opportunity to bring positive change to the system. It will take a lot of hard work but it is clear this Administration is committed to seeing it through."

Abercrombie also named a Director to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. Jobie Masagatani will fill the seat being left vacant by Alapaki Nahale-a. Ms. Masagatani previously served as DHHL Deputy Director from 1995 to 2002.

"I am deeply committed to the Native Hawaiian community and am very familiar with DHHL's internal operations, funding, unique challenges and ambitious mission," said Ms. Masagatani.  "I am looking forward to working with Deputy Director Michelle Kauhane and the dedicated staff who share a passion for service to Native Hawaiians and all of Hawai'i."

Ms. Masagatani leaves her position at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) where she is Special Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer.

Governor Abercrombie stated, "Jobie worked in both the public and private sectors as well as with federal agencies on improving conditions for Native Hawaiians. She understands the challenges and the importance of engaging beneficiaries and is ready to hit the ground running."

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