Maui News

Governor’s Chief of Staff and Deputy Resign

October 6, 2011, 1:49 PM HST
* Updated October 7, 5:47 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Governor Neil Abercrombie, file photo by Wendy Osher.

Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced a leadership transition for some of his closest staff.

Chief of Staff Amy Asselbaye, and Deputy Chief of Staff Andrew Aoki, have both resigned.  The resignations will be effective by the end of the month, and a transition of leadership is currently underway.

Both Asselbaye and Aoki informed Governor Abercrombie earlier this week of their decision to resign.  The governor today issued a statement saying their decision to step down was so that they could spend more time with their families and young children.

“Amy and Andrew and their families have sacrificed for years on behalf of the people of Hawaii and I respect their desires to want to reconnect with their families,” Governor Abercrombie said.

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“The two of them have helped me make the transition from the campaign to governing. I’m sure the transition to continued leadership in the governor’s office will be a smooth one,” said Gov. Abercrombie in a press release issued this afternoon.

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Bruce Coppa, currently the state’s comptroller, has since been named chief of staff.

Coppa, the director of the state Department of Accounting and General Services, was head of Coppa Consulting, Inc. before joining the Abercrombie administration in December 2010.

Prior to that, Coppa served as chief operating officer of Communications Pacific and executive director of Pacific Resource Partnership.  Coppa received his Master’s degree in Business Administration Global Management, and Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

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Governor Abercrombie said the search will begin for a new comptroller to fill the vacancy created by Coppa.

Asselbaye worked for Abercrombie for 18 years, first as a legislative assistant and then as chief of staff for Abercrombie’s Congressional Office.  Aoki worked with the governor for two-and-a-half years, first in the 2010 gubernatorial campaign as a deputy campaign manager, and then with the Abercrombie administration once the governor took office.

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