Campbell High School teacher Corey Rosenlee will take the helm of the Hawaii State Teachers Association on July 8, after garnering the most votes in last week’s controversial union election.

Rosenlee and his running mates, Justin Hughey and Amy Perruso, won all three top union leadership positions, according to a union announcement Tuesday afternoon. The three teachers had run on a promise to change the way HSTA operates.

The announcement came a week after teachers cast their votes for leadership for a third time this year, and nearly two weeks after Rosenlee took the union to court in an effort to block the revote.

The election, which pitted teachers known for making waves against senior union leadership, has been one of the most contentious in the union’s 44-year history.

Center, HSTA President Elect Corey Rosenlee gives press conference. 21 may 2015. photograph Cory Lum/CIvil Beat

Amy Perruso, Corey Rosenlee and Justin Hughey explain their legal challenge to the June 2 election at a press conference in May.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

HSTA leadership delayed certifying the results of the first election, held by mail and electronic ballot over two weeks in April, after none of the three candidates for vice president garnered a majority of the votes.

Rosenlee ran against current union Vice President Joan Lewis in the April election. Perruso’s opponent for secretary-treasurer, Osa Tui Jr., campaigned along with Lewis and vice presidential candidate (and current secretary-treasurer) Colleen Pasco. A third candidate for vice president, Paul Daugherty, ran independently.

After a runoff election in May, the HSTA Board of Directors voted to throw out the results from both elections because of voting “irregularities.”

Rosenlee, Hughey and Perruso said they had rightfully won the election, and that it was inproper for the board not to certify the election after already receiving the results.

Rosenlee had filed for a temporary restraining order in an effort to halt the new election late last month.

According to court documents filed by Rosenlee, the union’s Board of Directors violated union bylaws when it voted 21-8 in May to toss out election results.

The court declined Rosenlee’s petition for a temporary restraining order because of concerns over jurisdiction, but the complaint filed by Rosenlee is still active.


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