HSTA Candidate Files Temporary Restraining Order to Halt Re-vote

May 28, 2015, 2:07 PM HST · Updated May 28, 2:09 PM
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HSTA website, screen shot.

HSTA website, screen shot.

By Wendy Osher

A candidate for the presidency at the Hawaiʻi State Teacher’s Association has filed a complaint in court seeking injunctive relief to halt a new HSTA election that is scheduled to take place on June 2, 2015.

The suit was filed on Wednesday, May 27, on behalf of Corey Rosenlee who is seeking to compel the HSTA to:

  1. Accept the results of a prior election that was held from April 13-24, which he says was certified by the HSTA’s Election Committee; and
  2. Disclose information on recent actions taken by the HSTA’s Board that he has been denied.

The lawsuit claims that Rosenlee and his running mates – Justin Hughey, Vice-President, and Amy Perruso, Secretary-Treasurer – won the original election and the runoff for the Vice President’s race; However, the HSTA Board voted to reject the results of the original election citing “irregularities in the voting process.”

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Wil Okabe, President of the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association issued a statement in response to the restraining order filing saying, “We have received the court filing and are currently reviewing it. The filing of the motion for the temporary restraining order on the HSTA elections was anticipated. The HSTA will be submitting responses to the court and we fully expect a decision in our favor.”

Okabe said the board of directors made a decision for a re-vote by a 21-8 vote.  “The decision was made with care and diligence and we will continue to move forward with the elections,” he said.

Rosenlee’s complaint states that, had two losing candidates recused themselves from the May 2nd vote to certify results, the board would have presumably approved the election results for president and secretary-treasurer; and had the two refrained from further decision making, the May 16th vote to reject the election results and approve a re-vote would have failed.

The complaint further claims that prior to the disclosure of the election results and the May 2nd vote, no complaint of voting irregularity had been made.

In a statement today, Rosenlee said, “It pains me to have to sue my own union, but the integrity of the HSTA is at stake and going to court is our only recourse to protect the decision of the majority of HSTA’s members.”

Rosenlee’s attorneys expect Circuit Court Judge Gary Chang to rule on the TRO Motion later this week.

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