The Hawaii state Senator who represents Ewa Beach is suing the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation over its board’s recent maneuver to change voting and quorum rules.

Kurt Fevella filed his Oct. 29 complaint in a non-official capacity – the suit lists him as “a resident of the City and County of Honolulu.”

However, the West Oahu lawmaker has emerged this year as an especially vocal critic of HART, calling on its interim executive director and board leaders to resign after questions were raised over how the rail agency handled recent lucrative consulting contracts.

Senator Kurt Fevella crossover.
Republican State Sen. Kurt Fevella has previously called for a criminal investigation into HART over its procurement practices. He’s now suing the agency in a non-official capacity over changes to its voting rules. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The suit in state court aims to force the HART board to return to its previous voting rules, which required eight of the nine voting members to vote “yes” in order to take action.

At a July 29 meeting, the board emerged from a closed-door session and its interim chairman, Hoyt Zia, declared that the board, after being consulted in private by the city’s Corporation Counsel, could now pass items with just six votes. The unilateral move drew the ire of Zia’s colleague on the volunteer board, Kika Bukoski.

Critics also questioned whether the move was appropriate since it had not been included on the meeting’s agenda and the public didn’t have a chance to comment.

Fevella’s complaint also seeks attorney fees and “general damages.” Read it here:



An Important Note

If you consider nonprofit, independent news to be an essential service that helps keep our community informed, please include Civil Beat among your year-end contributions.

And for those who can, consider supporting us with a monthly gift, which helps keep our content free for those who need it most.

This year, we are making it our goal to raise $225,000 in reader support by December 31, to support our news coverage statewide and throughout the Pacific. Are you ready to help us continue this work?

About the Author