HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A lawsuit over an appointed official's qualifications is going back to a lower court as taxpayers pay the bill.
West Hawaii Today reports former County Councilwoman Brenda Ford filed the lawsuit and says she'll continue to pursue it.
Ford said residents deserve qualified leaders.
The Intermediate Court of Appeals ruling says the circuit court will determine whether the law degree held by Environmental Management Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd is sufficient to meet job requirements laid out in the county charter.
Taxpayers had spent more than $60,000 as of August 2015 on Leithead Todd's legal counsel.
Ford has paid her own costs in the case.
Leithead Todd says it makes sense to have a person with a legal degree run a department that deals with tasks like permitting.