Judge rules on Hawaii County environment director

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A state judge says Hawaii County's environmental management director will have to justify in court her authority to lead her department.

West Hawaii Today reported Wednesday that 3rd Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra gave Bobby Jean Leithead Todd 22 days to answer the order.

Ibarra ruled in response to a lawsuit filed by Councilwoman Brenda Ford alleging Leithead Todd isn't qualified for the job.

At issue is a 2010 charter amendment requiring the environmental management director to have an engineering or related degree. Leithead Todd is an attorney who holds a bachelor's degree in English.

Mayor Billy Kenoi appointed Leithead Todd to the position last summer. The council confirmed her appointment by a 6-3 vote. She had held the position under a previous mayor before the requirements were changed.

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