Abercrombie’s Top Two Aides Quit

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Governor AbercrombieLess than a year after taking office, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has lost his top two aides to resignation. Chief of staff Amy Asselbaye and Deputy Chief of Staff Andrew Aoki are stopping down, joining a growing list of departed Abercrombie administration officials.

“Asselbaye and Aoki informed Governor Abercrombie earlier this week of their decision to resign

Andrew Aoki and Amy Asselbaye (Abercrombie campaign publicity photo)

in order to spend more time with their families and young children. Asselbaye has three children; Aoki has two young children,” Abercrombie’s office said in a press release Thursday afternoon.

The governor named state Comptroller Bruce Coppa as Asselbaye’s successor and said a search will begin for a new comptroller.

“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,” Abercrombie said.

“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,” Abercrombie’s written statement said.

Asselbaye worked for Abercrombie for more than 18 years, with most of that service in his Washington, D.C. Congressional office, then moved with him to the governor’s office following his successful election campaign last year.

Aoki played a large role in that election effort, serving as Abercrombie’s deputy campaign manager.

Other departures from the administration have included Dr. Neal Palafox, who resigned as Health Department director before he was confirmed by the state Senate; Sunshine Topping, who resigned last month as head of the Department of Human Resources Development; Ed Texeira, vice director of state Civil Defense, who suddenly quit this week; and Robert “Bobby” Hall, deputy chairman of the Hawaiian Home Lands Department, who stepped down earlier this year in the wake of questions about departmental equipment purchases.

Another high-level state official who recently quit is Denise Wise, director of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority.

Cathy Takase, acting head of the state Office of Information Practices, was given her walking papers by Abercrombie in March.

Texeira, Wise and Takase held their positions before Abercrombie took office.





  1. Perhaps Abercrombie too will step down and a new, more viable and trustworthy person will take office. Abercrombie is much to much for anyone to have to swallow, let alone a whole state. Abercrombie does what he does without thought or consideration! He is not a leader, not one to work with the people, his shove it down your throat attitude sucks.

    I truly believe that Abercrombie should quit while he can walk out with his face still where it is and not between his legs..

    Enough said. This is as bold as it gets and I can go on record stating I don’t like the guy, never have and never will!

  2. Why did Abercrombie leave Washington? Who knows, but maybe because of plans to divide the USA into 10 regions cannot go down w/o cooperative govs – UN Agenda21, seriously just enter it into your search engine.

  3. Alapaki Nahale-a is another one that has to go. I see him alot at Hilo. Is he even going to work? What has Hawaiian Home Lands done recently? Michelle Kauhane as Deputy? What the hell is this Governor thinking?

    We should seriously consider impeachment.

  4. A seminal question is, where will they land work-wise? These resignations may represent a small chunk Hawaii’s version the typical crony-capitalist game so prevalent in DC, namely long-time hard working and lowly paid aides are found better paying jobs among NGOs or GSE’s (like Fannie and Freddie) where they can earn big money for a few years before returning as well-heeled as they need to be to remain quasi-Marxist trouble makers the rest of their lives. I hope the Reporter keeps eyes on this pair — you can bet that they aren’t headed to work the floor at Home Depot. And where they land and why they’ve landed there are important questions regarding how Obama, Abercrombie and their ilk plan to populate the nomenklatura of the new United Socialist States of America.

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