This afternoon Second Circuit Court Judge Peter Cahill ruled that since Neldon Mamuad, the founder and chief administrator of the MAUIWatch Facebook page, did not file a new financial disclosure statement with his nomination papers on June 3, he was not “complying with the law” and thus could not be a candidate for the office of Maui County Mayor.
“There was no financial disclosure statement attached,” Cahill noted during today’s hearing. Cahill also noted that though Mamuad had filed a disclosure form three months earlier for his position as a Maui County Liquor Commissioner, that form was confidential and not available for public review. Cahill also noted that though Mamuad testified that county elections clerks had told him on June 3 that they would allow him to use his Liquor Commissioner financial disclosure statement as part of his nomination papers, he took no steps to confirm that, in fact, they had ensured that his nomination papers were in order.
As Deputy Corporation Counsel Caleb Rowe pointed out in his closing statement today, this whole matter was a test case for a new county law that went into effect after the 2008 election, in which voters didn’t know that Wayne Nishiki had taken a $100,000 loan from developer Everett Dowling because he didn’t submit a financial disclosure statement containing the loan until after he won election to a Maui County Council seat.
Cahill also denied the county’s request for attorney fees, pointedly asking Rowe which part of the statutes allowed him to give the county money.
Mamuad made no statement after the hearing. His attorney Evans Smith said his client didn’t know if he would appeal the ruling. Smith also had no comment when I asked him why he didn’t subpoena Deputy Prosecuting Richard Minatoya, who’s objection to Mamuad’s nomination papers led to County Clerk Danny Mateo voiding Mamuad’s candidacy and this hearing.
Click here for a rundown on yesterday’s evidentiary portion of the hearing.
Photo courtesy Neldon Mamuad’s Google+ page