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Hawaii County elections defamation case dismissed

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KAILUA-KONA » A judge has dismissed a portion of a lawsuit by two Hawaii County elections workers suing for defamation.

West Hawaii Today reports Tuesday’s ruling says the attorney for Elections Division Chief Patricia Nakamoto and former elections employee Shyla Ayau failed to prove officials acted in a “willful and wanton” way when investigating and firing four workers last year.

The ruling dismisses claims against former County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and former County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi in their personal capacities. A previous ruling dismissed claims against them in their official duties.

Yagong and Kawauchi investigated reports of drinking parties and a private business operation at the elections warehouse, which led to the firings.

Nakamoto was reinstated and Ayau was offered her job back but declined. Their attorney says he’ll appeal.

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