Categorized | Business

Election workers to file claims over wrongful termination

The following is a statement from Ted Hong, attorney representing two county Elections Office workers who claim they were wrongfully terminated:

On Jan. 20, two of the four county employees who were wrongfully terminated from their positions in the county Elections Office, will file their initial claims against the County of Hawaii.

Each former employee is claiming damages in the amount $500,000. Their claims are based on the County Clerk’s false and defamatory statements made about them as the basis for firing them, the infliction of emotional distress and the unconstitutional withholding of their personal property.

The two former employees are:

* Patricia Nakamoto: An exemplary employee with more than 25 years of experience in elections. She worked her way up from an entry level temporary elections clerk to elections program administrator. She had an outstanding personnel record.

* Glen Shikuma: A 13-year county employee who was employed as a supervisor for four temporary warehouse staff. Shikuma also had an exemplary personnel history.

The two employees have retained Ted Hong, a Hilo employment attorney to represent them.

The Hawaii County Charter requires the employees to file a claim with the County Clerk’s office before they can file their lawsuit in the Circuit Court in Hilo.

”There has been a steady leak of misinformation to the local media, not so cleverly intended to put my clients in a had light and influence potential jurors in this case. We will find out who is leaking this false information to the media, expose their lies and hold them personally responsible for their abuse of the personnel process and injury to my clients’ reputation and standing in the community,” Hong said.


Patricia Nakamoto is dedicated to her profession and is community-minded. Raised in Hilo she is a graduate of St. Joseph High School and attended UHH Community College.

Nakamoto has been employed with the county Elections Division for 25 years. Nakamoto was first employed as a temporary elections clerk in 1982 and worked six elections as a temporary elections clerk.

In 1994 she was permanently hired as a senior election clerk and received successive promotional reallocations as elections assistant, elections program specialist and elections program administrator.

Nakamoto has worked 15 election cycles and participated in three county reapportionments under six County Clerks and seven Deputy County Clerks. During election cycles.

Nakamoto hires and trains 10 temporary elections staff and supervises the recruitment and assists in training for not less than:

* 6 precinct official trainers
* 500+ precinct officials to operate 49 precincts
* 44 ballot delivery collection team members
* 88+ counting center personnel
* 40 control center personnel
* 15 absentee walk site officials
* 10 troubleshooters
* 48 facility official to set up precincts and ADA equipment

In addition to her duties in the county Elections Division, Nakamoto launched various program initiatives that benefit the Big Island community, which include:

* Wiki-Wiki Drive-Thru partnership with League of Women Voters
* Video production collaboration on How to Register to Vote and How to Become a Precinct Official Video (Collaboration with Kamehameha Schools and University of Hawaii at Hilo)
* Re-designed the Young Voter Registration Program (YVRP)
* Conducted numerous voter informational presentations at Senior Centers and presentations to elections and voting, process and procedures


Glen Shikuma is dedicated to his profession, family and sport organizations. Raised in Hilo, he is a graduate of Hilo high School and attended UH-Hilo Community College.

Shikumua has been employed with the county Elections Division for 13 years and has worked six election cycles and during those election cycles trains and supervised four temporary warehouse staff providing coordination of voting supplies and booths for islandwide elections.

In addition to his duties in the Elections Division, Shikumua has used his talents and skills that benefit the Big Island voting community which include:

* Fabrication of parts for modification of voting booths for ADA compliance
* Fabrication of numerous signs and banners used for the Elections Office, polling places and elections precincts islandwide

Shikuma has donated his spare time to community service groups such as Lehua Jaycees and coaching youth programs. He has been married to his wife Karen for 38 years and has two sons
and two grandchildren.

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