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Spat over Hawaii County official's qualifications heads to court

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 9:21 a.m. HST, Sep 13, 2013

KAILUA-KONA » Hawaii County officials are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the qualifications of the county environmental management director.

Councilwoman Brenda Ford has challenged the qualifications of Bobby Jean Leithead Todd. Ford says the county charter requires the environmental management director to hold an engineering degree or a related degree.

Leithead Todd holds a law degree and directed the department for two years under former Mayor Harry Kim before the charter was changed.

A hearing in the matter is set for Oct. 9 before Judge Ronald Ibarra.

Ford's lawsuit is based on a law that requires Leithead Todd to justify her qualifications.

County deputy attorney Laureen Marten says the county isn't obligated to defend Leithead Todd but has filed to intervene because it has an interest in the outcome.

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