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Liquor board leader sued over loan default

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The newly appointed interim administrator of the Hono­lulu Liquor Commission is being sued by Bank of Hawaii for defaulting on a loan.

Greg Nishioka, who started with the commission on March 15, said his law firm, Nishi­oka & Fuji­oka, had defaulted on a line of credit of about $65,000 and is trying to negotiate a resolution. He said the lawsuit should not affect his job as administrator.

Bruce Yoshida, one of the bank’s attorneys involved in the case, declined to comment.

Former Commission Chairman Dennis Eno­moto, who left last month because of a 10-year term limit, said before leaving that Nishi­oka made an immediate disclosure after learning about the suit. According to court documents, Nishi­oka was served with the lawsuit on March 1.

Enomoto said the default was a personal issue that shouldn’t interfere with Nishi­oka’s work performance.

“We really have high hopes,” he said of Nishi­oka last month. “He has the ability to do the work. He has the type of personality to get along with everybody.”

The commission announced Feb. 17 that it chose Nishi­oka as interim administrator for one year while the search for a full-time administrator continues. Dewey Kim, the previous commission administrator, resigned in May after six months on administrative leave because of a personnel matter.

Nishioka said that so far he is impressed with the commission’s work force and has had only one employee problem: the worker arrested in February for investigation of illegally selling a liquor commission card, which allows someone to serve or sell alcoholic beverages.

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