Telescope contested case hearing officer, lawyers to meet

Telescope contested case hearing officer, lawyers to meet

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Lawyers involved in a contested case hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope project are expected to meet with the retired judge overseeing the proceeding.

Monday's "pre-hearing conference" is the first meeting hearing officer Riki May Amano has scheduled.

The state Supreme Court in December invalidated the project's construction permit and ordered a new contested case hearing.

Amano says she'd like to discuss motions, schedules and other procedural matters. She promises it will be brief.

Opponents of the $1.4 billion project are upset over Amano's selection as hearing officer. They say the retired Big Island judge has a conflict of interest because of her Imiloa Astronomy Center family membership.

The telescope planned for Mauna Kea is the focus of protests by those who say it will desecrate sacred land.

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