LIHUE — Former deputy prosecutor Lisa Arin will officially declare herself a candidate for the office of Kauai’s Prosecuting Attorney on the steps of the 5th Circuit Courthouse at 12:30 p.m. today.
“I never really wanted to run for prosecutor but after being with the office for six years, it became apparent to me that unless I stepped up and made the office a better place that no one was going to do it,” Arin said. “I didn’t see that anyone else was willing to do it. I believe I have the experience and the ability to not only handle the cases but to make the office better by guiding the less experienced attorneys to make the office stronger.”
Justin Kollar has been prosecuting attorney since 2012, when he defeated incumbent Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho in November of that year.
“It’s a small community I care about,” Arin said.
Arin spent six years working as deputy prosecutor under both Iseri-Carvalho and then Kollar. She left the OPA’s office in July and began working family court cases.
Arin said one thing she wants to focus on in her administration is hiring and retaining good, dedicated attorneys.
“Even if they are new, I would make sure that they are properly trained and developed,” she said. “I would be personally active in making sure that happens. I would have at least one other supervisor in the office assisting me in making sure that the deputies are properly supported and developed.”
Arin said she would be responsible for the most serious cases and “lead by example.”
“You can’t know how somebody’s doing just by talking to them now and then,” she said. “You have to see how they’re doing. And if you’re not around, if you’re not in the courtroom you’re not going to know how everyone is doing. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and they don’t always realize them. As their supervisor, you need to be around to know so you can help them overcome their weakness and accentuate their strengths.”
Her campaign is just kicking off, but she said she and her campaign co-chair, Mark Ozaki, have a whole season to plan.
“It’s not fun doing this, it’s exhausting,” she said.