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Ka Loko Dam investigator picked as city’s chief attorney

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Robert Godbey, who led the investigation into the fatal 2006 Ka Loko Dam breach, has been appointed as the top attorney for the the city.

Mayor Peter Carlisle announced his nomination of Godbey as Corporation Counsel at a news conference in his office today.

Godbey succeeds Carrie Ann Okinaga, who was appointed by Carlisle’s predecessor but agreed to stay on with the new administration until June 30. She has been appointed by Carlisle to serve on the semi-autonomous Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit.

Godbey, a partner in the firm of Godbey Griffiths, and a former assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and later in the Hawaii. His nomination is subject to confirmation by the City Council.

Godbey was chosen by then-Attrney General Mark Bennett to lead the investigation into the March 14, 2006, dam tragedy that killed seven people when torrents of water swept them and two houses into the ocean.

His January 2007 report spread possible blame among dam’s owner, the state, the county and Kilauea Irrigation Co., which failed to maintain the dam.

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