Local Connection: TMT Judge Controversy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: TMT Judge Controversy

There is reason to remain very concerned about whether the Thirty Meter Telescope will ever be built.  Particularly because the Ige administration is displaying no sense of urgency.

Latest case in point, the state Land Director, Suzanne Case seems to have botched the hiring of a hearings officer for the contested case over the telescope permit.  

First she appointed Former Judge Riki May Amano without going to the land board for the authority to do it, opponents immediately seized on that as something they can challenge in court.

Then it came out that Amano did not disclose membership in an educational organization tied to big island observatories.  Another soft spot for opponents.

We've been told by the attorney general that Amano can't start work until these challenges are resolved. No one has any idea how long that will take.  No one in the administration will answer that question.  Leaving not even a timeline for the hearings…while TMT officials begin looking at other sites.

The Ige administration cannot afford to lose time defending the Amano appointment.  We know they have been looking at other candidates, that's a decision that should not be delayed much longer.

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