BY JIM DOOLEY

Lynne Waters, recently hired as spokeswoman for City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, has jumped ship from Kaneshiro’s staff to take a high-priced University of Hawaii public relations position, Hawaii Reporter has learned.

Waters, wife of powerful state Senator Clayton Hee, could not be reached for comment this afternoon.

Keith Amemiya, executive secretary of the UH Board of Regents, and Tina Shelton, acting UH spokeswoman, referred questions to Rockne Freitas, UH vice president for student affairs/community relations.

Freitas was not immediately available for comment.

Waters will work as a temporary hire until formally approved by the Regents.

Her salary will reportedly be in the range of $130,000 to $150,000.

Waters has worked as a local television anchor and independent reporter and ran her own public relations consulting firm.

She joined the prosecutor’s staff late last year after Kaneshiro took office.

Hee, chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, was rumored early this year to be in the running for a seat in Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s cabinet.

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com