State roundup for May 20

State sued over death of boy

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — The grandmother and sister of a dead 4-year-old Maui boy have filed a negligence lawsuit against the state.

The lawsuit filed Friday claims Department of Human Services failed to protect Zion McKeown from abuse and neglect.

Zion died in 2012 after his father and his father’s girlfriend took him to the emergency room at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Autopsy results showed injuries to his abdomen consistent with someone stomping on him. His father Kyle McKeown and his father’s girlfriend, Grace Lee-Nakamoto, are awaiting trial for second-degree murder.

Department of Human Services spokeswoman Kayla Rosenfeld declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing confidentiality.

Har challenged in the primary

HONOLULU (AP) — One of the most vocal opponents in the Democratic party of legalizing same-sex marriage will have opposition in the primary election.

Oahu Democrats on Sunday decided to let a University of Hawaii-West Oahu instructor challenge state Rep. Sharon Har, who was one of 13 Democrats to vote against legalizing same-sex marriage.

Nicole Ferguson needed permission from Oahu Democrats since she recently moved to the district and is still registered to vote in another House district.

Another announced primary opponent for Har will be Michael Golojuch Jr., who is chairman of the party’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Caucus. Har says she was expecting challenges in the Aug. 9 primary.

Police chief in council race

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Kauai’s police chief is ending his law enforcement career but hoping to start a political one.

Darryl Perry filed nomination papers on Friday to run for a seat on the Kauai County Council.

“My law enforcement career has run its course, and I feel like it’s time for the department to move forward with new ideas,” Perry said.

Perry has led the Kauai police force since 2007. He retired from the Honolulu Police Department in 2002. He also has served as chief of security at First Hawaiian Bank and as an investigator with the state attorney general’s office.

He said he never pictured himself running for office.

“I’ve never been involved on the legislative side of the criminal justice system, and I felt maybe that’s a good thing,” he said. “I felt that this would be a good time to make that transition and I bring a variety of experiences on the executive side of government and I was thinking that perhaps I could help.”

So far, seven others are vying for the seat in the November election. Candidates have until June 3 to file nomination papers.

One of Perry’s campaign promises is to make government decisions more open.

“In terms of government in the legislative branch, I find it problematic that a lot of the issues concerning the public goes into closed sessions, executive sessions, and I would like to look at ways of making that more open,” Perry said. “I know everybody uses the term transparency, but I want to see how we can be more open and have the people who voted us, if I’m elected, be a part of the process instead of having decisions made by only a few.”


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