Honolulu denies employees use of law firm in rail inquiry

Honolulu denies employees use of law firm in rail inquiry
(Source: HNN File)

HONOLULU (AP) - Members of the Honolulu City Council have rejected a request to hire a mainland law firm to cope with a federal criminal investigation of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday that city attorneys expect the inquiry will result in subpoenas or other requests for information about the authority’s $9.2 billion rail project.

The council's Committee on Executive Matters and Legal Affairs voted Tuesday to reject a request by the city corporation counsel to spend up to $50,000 on a contract with Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

Officials say corporation council attorneys are civil lawyers and cannot handle criminal matters.

The 4-3 vote effectively kills the plan to hire the San Francisco-based law firm, forcing city employees served with subpoenas to find their own legal counsel.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.