Hawai`i Paroling Authority member Lani Rae Garcia has resigned her post following her arrest last week on domestic abuse charges. “While I am confident that pending legal matters will be resolved in my favor, I believe that this decision is best for all concerned,” Garcia wrote in her resignation letter to Gov. Linda Lingle. The announcement comes less than a month after authority chairman Alfred K. Beaver resigned in the midst of an internal affairs investigation. Garcia’s resignation will apparently halt the three-member board’s operation, as now only Mary Tiwanak remains.
“The citizens of our community must have the utmost confidence in decisions rendered by Parole Board members,” Garcia wrote. “To insure that the Board continues to operate with uncompromised integrity, I relinquish my appointment as a Board member.”
Garcia’s resignation means the Hawai`i Paroling Authority can no longer function, as a minimum of two members are required to take official action.
Garcia was arraigned a week ago in Family Court, charged with abuse of a household member and failing to obey police orders to stay away from her Kalama Valley home for 24 hours. The domestic abuse complaint was filed by Garcia’s boyfriend, Richard Krokidas.
The Honolulu Advertiser reported that last week’s arrest was the second time Garcia found herself in a domestic abuse case. Last year, Garcia faced a misdemeanor abuse charge involving her daughter, but entered a deferred no-contest plea.
“I respect Ms. Garcia’s decision to resign, and I would like to thank her for her years of public service as a Parole Board member,” Gov. Lingle said.
Former authority chairman Beaver resigned March 12 over a a controversial commutation request as well as alleged business dealings with a former parolee who was granted early discharge. The internal affairs investigation has been completed and forwarded to the state Attorney General’s office, but its findings were not released to the public and a decision is still pending.
Governor Lingle nominates Hawai`i Paroling Authority members, which must then be approved by the state Senate.