Hawaii state Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran has announced he will step down from office after facing several conflicts of interest questions.
In a senate press release, Sen. Gilbert Keith-Agaran did not give a specific reason why he was deciding to step down. But he did write, “I believe that this decision best serves the interests of the Maui people especially given what they have gone through over the last three weeks, and what they continue to experience.”
Agaran has been facing ethical questions the last several days after his picture was spotted on a flyer that advertised a discussion with members from the law firm Takitani Agaran Jorgensen & Wildman where Keith-Aagaran serves as a partner and Morgan & Morgan “America’s largest injury law firm”.
Morgan & Morgan has already filed a lawsuit against Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric Co. over the deadly Maui fires.
Civil Beat reported on Sunday just days before Keith-Agaran’s resignation that, “If push came to shove and he had to chose between his clients and his constituents, Keith-Agaran might choose his law practice over politics.”
Here’s the flyer that raised concerns:
State Sen. Gilbert Keith-Agaran is a partner in the law firm of partner at Takatani Agaran Jorgensen & Wildman that recently used his photo in a flyer to promote a community discussion in the aftermath of the Aug. 8 fires.
— Star-Advertiser (@StarAdvertiser) August 31, 2023
Per Hawaii News Now:
A Maui lawmaker announced Wednesday he’ll step down after raising eyebrows — and ethical questions — for his potential role as a lawyer for wildfire victims.
Sen. Gilbert Keith-Agaran said his final day would be Oct. 31.
He characterized his departure as a retirement, saying it’s been an “honor to represent my friends and family in my Central Maui communities in the State Senate and the State House.”
Agaran’s decision to resign comes after he was pictured on a flyer for a community discussion with members of his law firm. Agaran is a partner at Takatani Agaran Jorgensen & Wildman, which has partnered with Morgan & Morgan, a firm with offices in multiple states.
Sen. Keith-Agaran’s final day will be on October 31st.