Honolulu Police Commission Chairman Max Sword announced this afternoon that he will recuse himself from the search for a new police chief.
Sword’s announcement came after city Ethics Commission Executive Director Jan Yamane informed him that he had a conflict of interest because Thomas Aiu, one of seven finalists for the chief’s job, is first cousin with Sword’s wife, Mona Wood-Sword.
Sword asked for an opinion last week.
“The Ethics Commission has informed me today that I should recuse myself from the chief of police candidate vetting and selection process, including the final vote, due to a familial relationship, through my wife, with one of the candidates,” Sword said in a statement issued jointly with Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “I fully respect and accept their decision.”
Sword’s recusal leaves the final decision with four Police Commission members. While the commission carries seven seats, two resigned in recent months. Because it carries seven seats, all four will need to have consensus on the pick.
Sword said that despite his recusal, “the commission is still committed to naming a new police chief by the end of this month.”