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Maui’s top legal official resigns following abuse arrest

April 10, 2019

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — The top legal official for Maui County has resigned amid protests over his arrest on a domestic abuse charge, according to reports.

Maui County Department of Corporation Counsel Patrick Wong held a press conference Tuesday to announce his resignation without providing a reason, news outlets said.

His announcement came about a month after Wong was charged in Wailuku with abuse of a household member, reports said.

The resignation also came a day after protesters confronted Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino Monday on the University of Hawaii Maui College campus and demanded that he fire Wong, reports said.

Demonstrators held signs promoting domestic violence awareness during the mayor’s Maui College event, which was intended to mark April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Hawaii, reports said

Victorino accepted Wong’s resignation after reviewing the results of the police investigation that led the state Attorney General’s office to decline prosecution of Wong, he said.

“I believe it’s in the best interest of the Department of Corporation Counsel and the people of Maui County for Mr. Wong to step down at this time,” Victorino said in a statement.

The attorney general’s office said it decided to drop the abuse charge against Wong earlier this month.

“The decision to decline prosecution of Patrick Wong was made after a careful review of all available evidence related to the incident,” said Krishna Jayaram, special assistant to the state attorney general.

Victorino has nominated Deputy Corporation Counsel Moana Lutey, an 18-year veteran of the office, to replace Wong, reports said.

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