Hawaii’s attorney general has been busy lately challenging President Trump’s travel ban.

But Doug Chin still had time to charge a Maui resident with violating dog leash laws — and issue a press release about it.

Chin’s office issued a statement late Monday announcing that 52-year-old Mark Simonds was charged with “multiple violations of the Maui County Code’s leash laws and one count of failing to properly register one of his dogs.”

Here’s the twist: The case was referred to the Department of the Attorney General by the Maui County prosecuting attorney’s office, which employs someone named Mark Simonds as a deputy prosecutor.

A spokesman for Chin declined to elaborate on the press release.

A dog at Maui’s Upcountry Farmers Market in 2014. Flickr: Sue Salisbury

Meanwhile, a woman who answered the telephone at the Maui prosecutor’s office Tuesday confirmed that the office “turned over” the Simonds case to the attorney general. She also confirmed that a Mark Simonds works in her office.

But she did not say whether the alleged multiple dog-leash ordinance violator is the deputy prosecutor. Instead, she hung up.

Maui Time Editor Anthony Pignataro, however, thinks the alleged violator and the working prosecutor are one and the same.

“Mark Simonds is a Maui County deputy prosecuting attorney,” he wrote in a Maui Time post Tuesday. “Since it’s a conflict of interest for his own office to prosecute him, the case got kicked up to the AG’s office.”

Pignataro added that Simonds told him he couldn’t comment on the charges against him other than to say, “I look forward to exercising my right to due process, and to a full and fair hearing in this matter.”

Simonds is charged with violating the same leash law ordinance 13 times from August to April. Six of the alleged incidents involved a black dog, while seven involved a white one.

Each of the 13 counts states that Simonds “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” failed “to keep said dog under restraint, thereby violating Section 6.04.040(A) of the Maui County Code.”

The complaint also alleges that one of his dogs — the white one — was not properly licensed.

If Simonds is found guilty of all 14 counts against him, he could be subject to fines totaling $7,000.

Simonds is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” according to Chin’s press release.

Animal Ordinance Complaint Against Mark Simonds Of Maui:

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