Nakakuni Retires Following DOJ Request for Resignation

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Florence Nakakuni

HONOLULU — Florence T. Nakakuni, former U.S. attorney for the Hawaii District, retired a day after she and 45 other U.S. attorneys appointed by President Obama’s administration were asked to resign by the U.S. Justice Department.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliot Enoki is acting U.S. attorney.

Nakakuni was the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii, and served as the chief law enforcement officer representing the federal government in the district. Prior to her appointment, Nakakuni had been an assistant U.S. attorney, a role she held since 1985. Over the course of her career, she also held the positions of chief of the drug and organized crime section and chief of the organized crime strike force.

Nakakuni graduated from the University of Hawaii and the William S. Richardson School of Law and clerked for Justice Thomas Ogata of the Hawaii Supreme Court. She was appointed U.S. attorney in September 2009. Hawaii News Now reported that Nakakuni vowed at that time that her office would not be run based upon partisanship.

“When we do a case, it is not that we have to win, it is that we have to do justice. We have to make sure that justice prevails, that justice is done. And that will be my guiding light in the years ahead as I lead the office,” said Nakakuni in a speech at U.S. District Court in Ala Moana.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday asked 46 U.S. attorneys to submit their resignations as part of the transition of administrations in the nation’s capital. Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, made news over the weekend by announcing on Twitter that he had been fired after refusing to resign.

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