A Honolulu Police Commission seat that has been vacant since May will continue to sit empty until Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi and the new City Council appoint and confirm a new member, the city said on Wednesday. 

Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who leaves office on Jan. 2, appointed two new commissioners in June: Michael Broderick and Doug Chin. 

At the time, his administration said it was vetting candidates who could fill the seat that opened up when former commissioner Steve Levinson stepped down

City spokesman Alexander Zannes said on Wednesday that Caldwell will pass the responsibility of filling the seat to his successor. 

The commission is supposed to have seven members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council. The body is tasked with providing oversight of the Honolulu Police Department.

The commission can hire and fire the police chief, review rules, regulations and budget materials, and investigate complaints made against police officers. 

Blangiardi, who was endorsed by the police union during the election, has described himself as pro-law enforcement. In his campaign, he voiced support for Police Chief Susan Ballard and has indicated he doesn’t feel police reform is necessary.

Through his campaign press secretary Jen Armstrong, Blangiardi said he wasn’t previously aware that Caldwell would pass this appointment to him and therefore couldn’t comment on who he may choose for the role.

Before you go . . .

For the past several months our nonprofit newsroom has worked beyond our normal capacity to provide accurate information, push for accountability, amplify smart ideas and new voices, and double down on facts and context to write deeply reported local stories.

The truth is, our evolution as a public service news organization over the past 10 years has prepared us for this moment in time, when what we do matters the most.

Reader support keeps our small newsroom afloat. If you value the work of our journalists, please consider making a tax-deductible gift.

About the Author