Michael Formby will be the new managing director of the City and County of Honolulu, Mayor-Elect Rick Blangiardi announced on Monday.

An attorney, Formby has previously worked as an acting state transportation director, Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s city transportation director, a chief of staff to former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, an interim director and member of the board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and an interim city councilman.

Mike Formby stepped down from the Pacific Resource Partnership in July. Courtesy: Rick Blangiardi campaign

On July 1, he ended a roughly one-year stint heading the Pacific Resource Partnership, an influential pro-rail organization that represents carpenters and other contractors.

The organization’s super political action committee, Be Change Now, spent $872,558 on ads between September and October in an effort to get Blangiardi elected, according to data from the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission. 

“Mike Formby is a visionary and a results-driven leader and I am energized about his decision to join our administration,” Blangiardi said in a statement. “Mike has a proven track record for turning deficiencies into learning opportunities and embracing challenges with strategic focus. He will bring a refreshing, yet results-oriented leadership to the managing director’s office, which will set an elevated tone for the rest of the departments.”

In a statement, Formby said he is looking forward to serving the people of Oahu.

“I believe my experience in government operations, project management, public policy, planning and community engagement has prepared me for this great opportunity to work with Mayor-elect Blangiardi and his executive team,” he said. “It’s about optimizing government services during a public health crisis and economic recession.”

The announcement marks the first Blangiardi cabinet appointment.

Formby will replace Caldwell Managing Director Roy Amemiya, who has continued running the city after being given a subject letter by the FBI in relation to a criminal investigation. A subject is a person whose conduct is within the scope of a grand jury’s investigation, according to the Department of Justice.

At a press conference on Monday, Caldwell praised Formby and said he was an “excellent” choice for the role of managing director.

“This is a person who is going to hit the ground running. He knows how the city works, he has interfaced with members of our cabinet, he knows the issues on a state level, and county level,” Caldwell said. “I can’t think of a better person for the mayor-elect to pick than Mike Formby.”

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