LIHUE — Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Maui and former Kauai County Councilmember Richard Minatoya died this weekend.
“Richard was a shining example of the prosecutor’s mission to seek justice,” Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said in a statement Monday. “His dedication to the people of Hawaii will not be forgotten. We hold his ‘ohana in our thoughts today, as we remember his sense of humor, his commitment, and his spirit.”
Minatoya served on the county council for two years, beginning in 1994 and was First Deputy for the County of Kauai Office of the Prosecuting Attorney from 2005-2006, according to his resume posted on the Hawaii State Legislature’s website.
In 2007, Minatoya was appointed Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Maui, a position he held until his death.
“Richard could do it all,” Maui County Prosecuting Attorney John Kim said Monday, listing the myriad tasks Minatoya performed as Deputy Prosecutor. “He did a lot for the department and for law enforcement as a whole in the state of Hawaii.”
“It will be difficult to find a replacement for Mr. Minatoya,” Kim added. “He’s going to be sorely missed.”
Last year, Minatoya was appointed as Associate Director for the National District Attorney’s Associations Board of Directors. He also served as the Maui County member of the Hawaii Advisory Council on Emergency Management and was an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Hawaii.
Minatoya continued to work alongside Kauai officials after his move to Maui, according to Kollar.
“Richard would handle some conflict cases on Kauai, keep our office apprised of legislative changes, and often communicated with Tracy Murakami in our office concerning appellate and forfeiture issues. We worked closely with him each year on developing proposals to submit to the legislature on behalf of Hawaii law enforcement.” Kollar said. “We fondly remember Richard.”