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ATG NEWS RELEASE: Formation of the law Law Enforcement Officer Independent Review Board

Posted on Sep 29, 2017 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – Governor David Ige signed Act 161 into law last year creating the Law Enforcement Officer Independent Review Board. The Legislature, in developing Act 161, envisioned a board responsible for reviewing criminal investigations of incidents of officer-involved deaths conducted by law enforcement agencies. The board will evaluate the fairness of investigations and determine whether criminal prosecution or further investigation is warranted. Pursuant to Act 161, the board members serve without compensation.

The board, consisting of nine members, includes: Katy Chen, Lance Goto, Jay Kimura,

Boyd Mossman, Melissa Pavlicek, Barbara Richardson, Kevin Takata, Iwalani White, and Gary Yabuta. Bios of the board members can be found below.

Officer involved deaths that occurred after July 1, 2017 will be referred to this board. Those referrals will occur after the individual law enforcement agencies conduct their own reviews. As of this date, no such referrals have been made.

Katy Chen

Katy Chen serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Goodwill Hawaii. She has a Bachelors of Political Science, graduating cum laude with distinction, and a law degree from the University of Washington. Starting as a corporate lawyer in Honolulu, she later worked in London as the Chief Executive of CIAC, a legal-aid and social welfare charity for ethnic minorities. Upon returning to Honolulu, she then worked as the Executive Director of two other nonprofits. Katy’s past community work includes service as the Chair of the City & County of Honolulu Ethics Commission and on the Board of local and national non-profits, including the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and the Hawaii Book and Music Festival.

Lance Goto

Lance Goto has been a deputy attorney general in the criminal justice division for the past twenty years. Prior to that, he was a Honolulu deputy prosecutor for twelve years. He was the director of the felony prosecutions division before he left that office. He has had experience prosecuting many different types of felony offenses including murder, sex assault, robbery, burglary, theft, and drug crime. He graduated from Stanford University in 1980, and received his law degree from the University of Washington in 1983.

Jay Kimura

Jay T. Kimura graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1974. He received his law degree from California Western Law School in 1979. That same year he became a deputy prosecuting attorney for the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, Hawaii County. He remained with that office for over 31 years. In 1982, he was appointed First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. In 1992, he was elected County Prosecuting Attorney, and held that position until he retired in 2011. In March 2013, he became the Executive Director for the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council and continues to hold that position.

Boyd Mossman

Boyd P. Mossman has served in all three branches of government and though currently retired, stays involved in his church, community, family and business. He graduated from the Kamehameha Schools and the US Air Force Academy and then served with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations until he left for law school at the George Washington University Law School. He has served most of his professional career on the island of Maui as an attorney for the County of Maui, the Prosecuting Attorney, District Judge, and Circuit Court Judge in the Second Circuit. While involved with the business of dispute resolution he was elected statewide to serve three terms as the Maui trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from the island of Maui, until he left to serve his church as temple president in Kona for three years.

Melissa Pavlicek

Melissa Teves Pavlicek is the president of Hawaii Public Policy Advocates, LLC, a government affairs consulting company. She previously served as an officer of the Hawaii State Bar Association and Hawaii Women Lawyers. Ms. Pavlicek graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law and worked as a communications professional prior to becoming an attorney in 1996. She currently serves on the boards of Catholic Charities of Hawaii and the YWCA of Oahu.

Barbara Richardson

Barbara Richardson served as a full-time District Court judge for the First Circuit from 2000 until her retirement in 2016. Her last seven years on the District Court bench were as its Deputy Chief Judge. She served as a per diem judge for fourteen years before assuming her full-time position. Judge Richardson has also worked in private practice in Honolulu and San Francisco and for the County of Hawaii’s Office of the Corporation Counsel. Judge Richardson has been a member of and has chaired several Judiciary committees. In 2012, she was named Jurist of the Year. She is currently a board member of the Friends of the William S. Richardson School of Law, the American Judicature Society and the Friends of the Lyon Arboretum. She is also assisting the Judiciary on the development of its civil module of the Judiciary Information Management System (JIMS). Judge Richardson received her J.D. from Hastings College of the Law and her B.A. from Stanford University.

Kevin Takata

Kevin Takata is the supervising deputy attorney general for the criminal justice division of the Department of the Attorney General. He is a former Kauai first deputy prosecutor and Honolulu deputy prosecutor, where he was on the Homicide team and trials division chief. For ten of those years, he was the department’s Trials Division Chief. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Case Western Law School.

Iwalani White

Iwalani White graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology in 1977 and from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1980. Shortly after being admitted to the Hawaii State Bar, Iwalani became a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu where she handled a variety of cases beginning with traffic and criminal misdemeanors and advancing to felony trials and career criminal cases. She also specialized in Juvenile offender and domestic violence cases. In 1992, Chief Justice Herman Lum appointed Iwalani to be a District Family Court Judge. In November 1996, Iwalani became the First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for newly elected Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle. She later served as interim director for the Department of Public Safety under Governor Linda Lingle.

Gary Yabuta

Gary Yabuta is the Executive Director of the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)-a grant-funded program under the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Prior to his appointment as the Executive Director of Hawaii HIDTA, he was Chief of Police for the Maui Police Department. He was a sworn officer for the Maui Police Department for 31 years and he has over 39 years of criminal justice experience. Gary Yabuta graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Sociology, from California State University, Northridge. He is a graduate of several law enforcement programs, including the FBI, National Academy (2004) and the United States Army War College, 57th Annual National Security Seminar (2011).

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For more information, contact:


Joshua A. Wisch

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

(808) 586-1284

Email: [email protected]


Twitter: @ATGHIgov