The City and County of Honolulu is still without a permanent head of the Honolulu Fire Department.

The Honolulu Fire Commission was expected to hear from the two finalists — Lionel Camara Jr., the acting chief, and Sheldon Kalani Hao, the acting deputy chief — and dozens of people tuned in to the online forum.

Instead, it was Manuel Neves, the former chief who retired Feb. 28, that did most of the talking. He was invited by the commission to explain the department’s requirements on training and certification of fire fighters.

Afterwards, the commission voted to go into executive session for almost an hour, leaving the public in the dark. Fire Commission Chair Charlotte Nekota then announced that she had “no update” on the new chief and that commissioners will meet again Sept. 22.

Reached by phone, Nekota said the six-member panel remained deadlocked 3-3 on the candidates. A seventh position is vacant.

screen shot of Honolulu Fire Commission meeting Aug. 25, 2021
A screen shot of the Honolulu Fire Commission meeting Wednesday. Screenshot

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