Clare Connors, a trial attorney with the Honolulu law firm Davis Levin Livingston, will be Hawaii’s new attorney general, pending confirmation by the state Senate.
Gov. David Ige announced Thursday that he had selected Connors to replace Russell Suzuki, who had served since February.
“Her long and extensive criminal and civilexperience brings new insight,” Ige said of Connors at a press conference at the Capitol. “Her leadership in the office will bring new energy … and hopefully resolve some longstanding issues.”
Clare Connors is Gov. David Ige’s choice to be Hawaii’s new attorney general.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Connors will also serve on an interim basis until her Senate confirmation vote.
Ige said that Suzuki hasn’t yet decided if he’ll stay on as a deputy or move on from the administration entirely.
Connors, a Harvard Law School graduate, represented the law firm’s clients in personal injury, medical malpractice and consumers’ rights cases, according to the company’s website. She’s been with the firm since 2011.
She began her legal career in Hawaii as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge David Ezra and was an assistant U.S. attorney from 2004 to March 2011. Prior to that she was part of the Attorney General’s honors program with the federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and worked as a trial attorney for the department’s Tax Division.
Doug Chin was Ige’s attorney general for most of his first term and gained national attention for representing Hawaii in challenges to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Chin then served as lieutenant governor before making an unsuccessful run for Congress.
Ige said Thursday the Trump administration has continued to introduce policies that don’t match the values or views of Hawaii. But he added that Connors’ primary duty wouldn’t be to challenge the administration.
“We’d have to look at those issues as they come up,” Ige said. “She’d be working on behalf of the people.”
Ige’s appointment comes several days after a letter circulated among the deputy attorneys general stating their support for Suzuki and urging the governor to reappoint him.
“It is difficult to imagine our department without Russell at the helm. He keeps our department running smoothly and provides the necessary guidance and support to the supervisors of the divisions. Our supervisors are effective leaders, in large part because of the example that Russell sets,” the letter said.
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Blaze Lovell is a reporter for Civil Beat and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu. You can reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @blaze_lovell