RELATED: CBS: Maui County Uncooperative with Fire Investigation
ATTORNEY GENERAL CONTINUES TO PUSH KEY PARTIES TO MOVE THE MAUI FIRE INVESTIGATION TOWARD CONCLUSION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 27, 2023
HONOLULU – Attorney General Anne Lopez announced today that her office continues to aggressively push the first phase of the independent investigation into the Maui wildfires forward. Critical facts are still needed from several key stakeholders for Phase 1 to be completed.
The timeline for the release of the Phase 1 findings is dependent on the Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) gaining access to all facts before completing Phase 1 and a comprehensive scientific analysis on how the fire incident unfolded. “Until that happens, this critical process cannot move forward,” said Attorney General Lopez. Subpoenas have been served upon the Maui Emergency Management Agency, the County of Maui Department of Public Works, and the County of Maui Department of Water Supply. Subpoenas will allow the Attorney General to collect information in a timely manner.
“We appreciate the cooperation of the Maui fire and police departments, and while we continue to work through some issues, their leaders and line responders have been transparent and cooperative,” continued Attorney General Lopez. After obtaining the complete set of critical facts for FSRI review, the Office of the Attorney General will announce a revised date for sharing the Phase 1 results with the people of Hawaiʻi.
The Maui wildfires caused significant loss of life, more than $5.5 billion in damage, and continue to take an economic toll. To capture timely and accurate information while first responders can recall details of the wildfires, the FSRI team has been working within the impacted communities since the end of August. The willingness of Lahaina community members to share their stories is vital and appreciated.
“We have conducted more than 100 conversations and viewed more than 1,000 personal videos and images shared by many of the residents affected by the wildfires,” said Dr. Steve Kerber, vice president and executive director of FSRI, a research organization dedicated to addressing the world’s unresolved fire safety risks and emerging dangers. “We are committed to investigating all of the facts and that requires accessing real-time information as the fire situation unfolded.” The FSRI team has been scheduling time with local emergency services and federal, state, and local organizations that responded to the wildfires and can share their first-hand perspectives.
The purpose of the independent investigation announced in August 2023 is to find the facts and develop new policies and procedures to save lives and property in the future. “I remain personally invested in representing the truth, ensuring a comprehensive, independent investigation and communicating throughout this process,” emphasized Attorney General Lopez. “Our communities expect and deserve a safer Hawaiʻi.”
CLUE: The more Maui County is blamed, the less HECO is responsible. The objective is to protect Hawaiian Electric as a bastion of old boy power in Hawaii. That means stopping the lawsuits which claim HEI is responsible for the fires.
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HNN: On Monday evening, Maui County responded to the news, saying that it has “cooperated fully with the investigation” and shares the state’s commitment to transparency. “The county received eight requests for information, totaling 80 specific items. Thirty-two of those items have been completed and submitted and 20 items are pending, either due to processing or a response from the department that holds the records. Additionally, 12 items require federal Department of Homeland Security clearance before they can be produced. The remaining items requested are either not under the custodianship or jurisdiction of the County, or are too general and are pending further clarification from the State and its contractor Fire Safety Research Institute. Over 90 interviews of county personnel have been completed so far.”