Kauai News

Ex-deputy prosecutor who opposed local judge sues Kaua‘i County

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A fired deputy prosecuting attorney is suing the County of Kaua‘i, alleging he was wrongfully terminated days after opposing the selection of a judicial nominee in 2022.

Plaintiff Robert J. Christensen served as a Kaua‘i deputy prosecutor from December 2021 through June 2022. Now – in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu earlier this month – Christensen claims Kaua‘i County, the Kaua‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney and chief prosecutor Rebecca Like violated his rights of free speech and due process.

Gregory Meyers is sworn in as District Court Judge of the Fifth Circuit by Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald in 2022. Photo Courtesy: Hawai‘i State Judiciary

“Christensen’s termination after the ‘internal investigation interview’ conducted by Like was in blatant retaliation for plaintiff Christensen’s choice to express views as a concerned citizen on a matter of supreme public interest in violation of his rights as a whistleblower,” reads the complaint, which also lists counts of defamation and wrongful termination.

Christensen had recently submitted a June 2022 letter to the Hawai‘i Senate Judiciary Committee – written on Kaua‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney letterhead – opposing its selection of Kaua‘i defense attorney Gregory Meyers to a fifth-circuit family court judgeship.


Christensen’s letter was one of many letters sent to the judiciary committee, the vast majority in support of Meyers’s appointment.

Christensen’s letter claimed Meyers was under criminal investigation by the Kaua‘i Police Department following a criminal complaint filed by the Kaua‘i prosecutor’s office.

Christensen alleges he initially had Like and others’ full support when he first claimed then defense attorney Meyers had engaged in potential witness tampering by contacting the complainant in a third-degree assault case handled by Christensen in early 2022.


Meyers had provided Christensen with a hand-written note written by the complainant, which apparently contradicted earlier statements made by the complainant. Charges were never filed against Meyers’ client, according to media coverage last year, which cited other defense attorneys who defended Meyers’ actions as routine and appropriate.

Kaua‘i Prosecutor Rebecca Like and her office have been sued by a former employee terminated last year. Photo Courtesy: County of Kaua‘i

Like did not immediately return a request for comment. But Honolulu Civil Beat has previously reported Like told Senate Judiciary Chairman Karl Rhoads her office did not oppose Meyer’s nomination; did not authorize Christensen to publicly disclose his complaint against Meyers; and would not pursue the witness tampering case.

Christensen’s case has been assigned a scheduling conference before federal Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield on March 6.


Scott Yunker
Scott Yunker is a journalist living on Kauaʻi. His work for community newspapers has earned him awards and inclusion in the 2020 anthology "Corona City: Voices from an Epicenter."
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