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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 12, 2010

Court says residency rules bind Maui councilmembers

Advertiser Staff

WAILUKU The state Supreme Court has ruled that Maui County Council members who violate county residency requirements automatically forfeit their seats.

The high court held Wednesday that the public needn't take the additional step of pursuing impeachment or recall to remove violators from office.

The ruling sends a challenge to County Councilman Sol Kahoohalahala back to Circuit Court. Nineteen Lāna'i residents are trying to force him out of office.

Kahoohalahala represents Lāna'i. But the Supreme Court ruled in October in a separate case that he was actually a resident of Lahaina.

Kahoohalahala's attorney, Ben Lowenthal, said Wednesday's ruling dealt with a "procedural matter" and had no effect on Kahoohalahala's status as a council member.