HR Director Toriano resigns in wake of critical audit

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HILO — County Human Resources Director Sharon Toriano resigned Wednesday, following a critical audit that showed “questionable hiring practices,” and a West Hawaii Today article Monday indicating preferential treatment of job applicants through her use of sticky notes on official hiring documents.

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HILO — County Human Resources Director Sharon Toriano resigned Wednesday, following a critical audit that showed “questionable hiring practices,” and a West Hawaii Today article Monday indicating preferential treatment of job applicants through her use of sticky notes on official hiring documents.

Toriano will be on paid sick leave in her $99,000 annual position until her resignation becomes effective Dec. 31.

Toriano slipped out a side door during an executive session of the Merit Appeals Board and couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Chairwoman Julie Tulang announced Toriano’s resignation when the public session resumed.

Mayor Harry Kim, who attended the half-hour executive session, said afterward that he had spoken with Tulang and County Council Chairwoman Valerie Poindexter, telling them it is important to restore public confidence in county hiring practices. He said he didn’t ask for Toriano’s resignation.

“My goal is to resolve this as best we can without creating an atmosphere of a circus,” Kim said.

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The Merit Appeals Board accepted Torniano’s resignation and named Deputy Director Bill Brilhante as acting director.

See Thursday’s West Hawaii Today for more information.

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