The public safety department’s deputy director for corrections is retiring next month and the governor has appointed a successor.

Jodie Maesaka-Hirata will retire on Dec. 16. Shari Kimoto, who has worked for DPS since 1994, will take her place.

Maesaka-Hirata has been the deputy director for corrections since January 2016. She has worked for DPS since 1992, but briefly left to go work for the Honolulu Office of the Prosecuting Attorney between 2014 and 2016.

Maesaka-Hirata was investigated by the state Ethics Commission earlier this year after sending public safety employees emails and text messages soliciting support for the confirmation of director Nolan Espinda.

Ultimately, the ethics commission made no conclusions on whether or not she violated state law, but commission director Dan Gluck wrote in a letter that several subordinates felt pressure to comply.

Her successor, Kimoto, is currently the acting institutions division administrator. She has also previously worked as a social worker, inmate classification officer and legislative coordinator.

“Shari has been a dedicated public servant and leader in our corrections division for more than two decades and will provide valuable insight and experience in her new role,” Espinda said in a news release.

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