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Maui judge Loo appointed to seat on Circuit Court

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed Maui District Judge Rhonda Iwalani Lai Loo to a 10-year term as a Maui circuit judge, his office announced today.

Loo, 49, a graduate of the University of Hawaii law school and a former Maui deputy prosecutor, would fill the vacancy left by Joel August, who recently retired.

The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

“This appointment is a natural step forward for Judge Loo who has worked hard over the years in serving within the state’s court system,”  Abercrombie said.  “She is committed to continuing her judicial service in Maui.”

Abercrombie initially appointed Maui attorney Joseph Wildman to the post from a list submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission, but Wildman withdrew his nomination.  He said he was grateful for the appointment, but withdrew his nomination “because of an unresolved situation” at his prior law firm.

Under the state constitution, Abercrombie must make his selection from the list.  Unlike his predecessor Linda Lingle, the governor is not disclosing the names of the others on the list from the commission.

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