Serves us right for not going to Maui County Liquor Commission hearings anymore, but one of the biggest LC stories of the year broke at last month’s hearing. That’s when LC Director Franklin Silva, who’s run the department since 1993, announced that he was leaving office.
“Frank Silva publicly announced his retirement at the September 9, 2015 Commission meeting,” LC Deputy Director Traci Fujita Villarosa said in an email to me today. “The Commission will discuss the selection process for the appointment of a new Director at the meeting tomorrow,October 7. It’s on their agenda under Administrative Affairs.”
I must be going blind, too, because I read over that agenda and didn’t see anything about Silva. But sure enough, way at the end, there it is:
Discussion on the process for the appointment of a new Director of the Department of Liquor Control
Of course, those already going to the hearing to see their long-awaited public hearing on the LC’s dancing rules might not see anything juicy. That’s because this huge note also appears on the agenda right below the note about Silva:
The Commission anticipates that it may go into executive session pursuant to HRS §§ 92-4 and 92-5(a)(4) to consult with its attorney on the Commission’s powers, duties, privileges, immunities, and liabilities; and pursuant to HRS §§ 92-4 and 92-5(a)(2) to consider the hire or evaluation of an officer or employee where consideration of matters affecting privacy will be involved.
Needless to say, it’ll be fascinating to see who the Liquor Commission selects to take over the department (click here to see a list of the commissioners). After all, the LC has always been something of a monarchy, and the LC Staff Directory lists two Silva boys (Layne and Gene) who hold relatively high-ranking Liquor Control Officer III slots at the department’s Lahaina office.
For those not steeped in ancient county history, Silva took over the LC in 1993, following the retirement of Joe Souza, who like Silva had run the department for many years. Souza’s retirement though was clouded with stories of improper payments and FBI investigations.
“Beginning as early as April 1993, the plaintiffs reported to Maui police and the FBI that a liquor licensee was making illegal payments to Souza,” the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported on Feb. 25, 2000 (in a story about four former LC officers suing the County of Maui in federal court over what they considered retaliation “for revealing alleged corrupt and illegal activities by supervisors”). The fed never filed any charges filed against Souza.
For those fascinated with the LC’s strong family ties, there’s also a Souza–Dana–who sits on the Liquor Commission.
Maui County Liquor Commission Hearing
Wednesday, Oct. 7
Department of Liquor Control Conference Room
David K. Trask, Jr. Office Building
2145 Kaohu St., #108, Wailuku
Photo of Frank Silva: Mauitime