Senate committee rejects governor’s economy director nomination

A state Senate committee rejected Gov. Josh Green’s appointment to lead the state’s Division of Enterprise, Financial Improvement and Tourism on Thursday.

The Senate Committee on Power, Financial Improvement and Tourism voted four-1 not to propose Chris Sadayasu, who has been acting director because appointment, for the position.

In spite of the refusal of advisement, Sadayasu’s confirmation will nonetheless go just before the complete Senate for final approval or denial.

The vast DBEDT oversees some of the state’s biggest projects such as Aloha Stadium, tourism management, economical housing improvement and extra.

For the duration of the relatively private hearing, senators questioned Sadayasu’s leadership of Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority contracts, especially a move earlier this year, when Sadayasu took it into his hands to problem a request for proposals for advertising the North America marketplace, devoid of HTA consultation.

Senators also questioned Sadayasu’s commitment to the job. In one particular instance, Sen. Kurt Favella of Oʻahu spoke critically of Sadayasu leaving an HTA board meeting early in December for his father-in-law’s funeral.

Later in the hearing, committee Chair Sen. Lynn DeCoite of Maui mentioned she was “concerned” with his spotty attendance, recounting a further meeting in which the acting director left early to see the musical “Hamilton.”

“Yikes, you really should have, in my opinion, planned greater,” DeCoite mentioned.

An lawyer by trade, Sadayasu previously worked in the Division of the Lawyer Basic. Prior to that, he was a tourism brand manager for HTA.

“The selection to not suggestions and consent was not private. I think the person has credential but in the course of action of attempting to manage distinctive agencies, I am incredibly concerned,” Decoite closed out the meeting.

Earlier this week, the exact same committee advised the confirmation of DBEDT deputy director Dane Wicker.

This is the second of the governor’s cabinet appointees to eventually be rejected by the very first hearing committee.

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