Damien A. Elefante, who last week was confirmed by the state Senate to serve as chairman of the Labor and Industrial Relations Appeals Board, also will now fill in as acting director of the state Tax Department.
Elefante will serve as acting director for the next 60 days, or until the position is permanently filled, Gov. David Ige’s office said in announcing Elefante’s appointment today.
Elefante, the Tax Department’s deputy director, takes over in an acting capacity for Rona Suzuki.
Ige pulled Suzuki’s nomination on Friday, the same day that Elefante was confirmed by the Senate to chair the Labor and Industrial Relations Appeals Board on the last day of the Legislative session. Ige gave no explanation for pulling Suzuki’s nomination.
Elefante has served as the Tax Department’s deputy director since August 2016. He is also an employer trustee, serving in a fiduciary capacity with the Hawaii – Union Health Benefits Trust Fund and as an arbitrator with the Court Annexed Arbitration Program, according to Ige’s office.
Previously, Elefante was a compliance coordinator with the Tax Department and a deputy state Attorney General with the A.G.’s tax division from 2001 to 2015.
Elefante has also worked as an attorney in private practice and served as a judicial law clerk to Chief Judge James S. Burns, Intermediate Court of Appeals.
A graduate of Kailua High School, Elefante earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law in New York.