HONOLULU (KHON2) — Following up on a story KHON2 reported last week about the head of the DLNR’s Commission on Water Resource Management being reassigned: West Maui residents sued the state for transferring out Kaleo Manuel last week, saying only the commission’s board can make such a move.

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Manuel took several hours to approve a large landowner’s request to divert water to a reservoir that could be used for water drops, but helicopters weren’t flying that day in high wind, and the reservoir doesn’t feed into the fire hydrant system.

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DLNR declined to comment on the lawsuit, but sent KHON2 news an official statement later the same day that read:

“We have reviewed the complaint and find it wholly without merit. A simple review of the statutes cited in the complaint itself demonstrates that it is the chairperson who appoints her own deputy – a position which is called in law ‘deputy to the chairperson.’ We look forward to presenting a motion to dismiss.”