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Monday, March 18, 2024
AG Points Finger at Maui County: 53 Subpoenas Delay Lahaina Fire Report
By News Release @ 10:03 PM :: 1708 Views :: Maui County, Energy, Ethics

DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES APRIL 17 RELEASE DATE FOR MAUI WILDFIRE PHASE ONE REPORT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 18, 2024

HONOLULU – Attorney General Anne Lopez confirms the Phase One report on the independent investigation into the Maui wildfires will be released on April 17, 2024.

The Phase One report analyzes how the fire incident unfolded, based on science, during the first 24 to 72 hours of the fire and its aftermath, and includes a comprehensive timeline of events. The Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), part of UL Research Institutes, is widely recognized as the premier fire safety science organization in the world and was selected to provide its scientific analysis of the fire event and recommendations for the future.

The FSRI research team encountered unexpected delays when gathering the critical facts for review, which had a direct impact on the rescheduled Phase One report release date.

In November 2023, the Department of the Attorney General served three subpoenas upon the Maui Emergency Management Agency, the County of Maui Department of Public Works and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply seeking documents relevant to the investigation.

The County of Maui stated that subpoenas would be required for all further information, including documents and interviews with county personnel. As a result, the Department has needed to serve upon County of Maui agencies and officials, eight additional subpoenas for documents and 53 additional subpoenas for interviews, to date.

“Our team appreciates the willingness of community members, firefighters, police officers and other emergency workers to share information and their experiences as the wildfires started and began to spread,” said Steve Kerber, PhD, PE, vice president and executive director of FSRI. “Being able to review all of the data, which is extensive, has a tremendous impact on the comprehensive analysis of the fire incident and our recommendations to make Hawaiʻi a safer place to live, work and play.” The Phase One report will contain a detailed timeline of what occurred while the analysis will be included in Phase Two.

“We understand the people of Hawaiʻi need to know what happened. We all want fast answers, but it is critical that this investigation be thorough and accurate. An analysis of this magnitude cannot be rushed, and we must allow for the time needed to make sure this investigation, based on science, is done correctly. I am confident that the Phase One report will provide some answers to the questions surrounding the tragic wildfire incident,” said Attorney General Lopez. “The scope of this investigation is unprecedented and will help us work together to create a safer Hawaiʻi.”

FSRI has been working with the impacted communities since August 2023. The purpose of its independent analysis is to find facts and develop new policies and procedures to save lives and property in the future so Hawaiʻi will be a safer place to live for generations to come.

# # #

(CLUE: The more Maui County is responsible, the less Hawaiian Electric owes.  And Maui County has sovereign immunity against lawsuits.  This report is all about deflecting blame from HEI--a key part of the old-boy power structure--to save it from being taken over by outside creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding.)

CS: First phase of Maui fire investigation to be released next month

AP: Subpoenas on Maui agencies and officials delay release of key report into deadly wildfire  

SA: Over 60 subpoenas served in probe of Maui disaster response | Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)

HNN: State’s highly-anticipated independent probe into Maui wildfires delayed again

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