The recent revelation, first reported in The Maui News, that Elle Cochran was involved in an attempted robbery sixteen years ago raised a number of questions. Chief among them: what, if anything, will this do to her bid for the West Maui Council seat? Cochran got the most votes in the September 20 primary and—with the endorsement of popular termed-out incumbent Jo Anne Johnson—looked like the clear frontrunner. Now, even after the County Clerk dismissed a challenge to her candidacy, things are less certain.
Reached for comment, Cochran called the disclosure a “relief.” She said she’d wrestled with how—and if—she would bring up the issue. Ultimately, she said she decided not to talk about it on the advice of retired Judge Boyd Mossman—the same judge who sentenced her to probation and community service in 1994.
Cochran said the incident—which involved her boyfriend at the time threatening a group of tourists with a gun at the Lahaina Cannery Mall—occurred during “a dark period” in her life. “I made mistakes, some very bad choices,” she said. “But I’m not that person today.” Asked if she felt it was unfair to her primary opponents to not mention the arrest, she said that it was always a matter of public record and already known by her friends, associates and parts of the community. “I’ve been prepared to address this,” she said. “I’ll answer any questions people may have.” At the same time, she added, “I hope we can focus on the important concerns of today, and move on.”