A yearlong search for a fire chief that was deadlocked between two finalists for months has now concluded.

Sheldon Kalani Hao, the acting deputy chief, will lead the Honolulu Fire Department effective Dec. 31.

Acting Chief Lionel Camara Jr., who had vied with Hao for the top job, told the Honolulu Fire Commission in writing earlier this week that he will retire on Dec. 30.

Sheldon “Kalani” Hao, the acting deputy fire chief, will be Honolulu’s next chief. Hawaii News Now

Charlotte Nekota, chair of the fire commission, confirmed the development, which transpired at a commission meeting Tuesday. The vote was 6 to 1, with new commissioner Dave Matlin abstaining because he just joined the commission last month.

Former Honolulu Fire Department Chief Manuel Neves retired in February.

Last month the commission again deadlocked 3-3 on whether to support Hao or Camara. That prompted the commission to begin a new search.

But that search is now moot. Nekota declined to say who applied for the job the second time around.

“Now we can move forward,” she said Wednesday.

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