Congressman Faleomavaega today offered his congratulations to Judge Fa’au’uga To’oto’o, who was recently confirmed as a Circuit Court judge for the State of Hawaii. Judge To’oto’o will be sworn in on October 7, 2010 making him the first judge of Samoan ancestry to be appointed to the Circuit Courts of the State of Hawaii.
On July 13, 2010, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle nominated To’oto’o and submitted his name to the State Senate to fill a judicial vacancy in the First Circuit, which covers Oahu. Following a vote of 5-0 by the Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee, the nomination was then sent to the Senate, where senators supported To’oto’o with an overwhelming vote of 22-0, on August 6, 2010.
Prior to his nomination, Judge To’oto’o served as a District Court judge of the First Circuit since 1994, and previously served as Deputy Prosecutor for the City and County of Honolulu for ten years.
A native of Nu’uuli, American Samoa, and a graduate of Leone High School, To’oto’o later received his undergraduate degree from Missouri Valley College and his law degree from St. Louis University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. He and his family reside in Waimanalo, Hawaii.
In addition to his professional successes, Judge To’oto’o is also a servant to the local community, volunteering with organizations such as Hawai’i Youth Challenge Academy, Mo’okini He’iau Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Waimanalo Community Fairs and Waianae Christmas Parade. He is also Chair of Nu’u Ministries, which sponsors the Lumana’i Awards in recognition of outstanding high school seniors of Samoan decent who have made significant contributions to their schools.
“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Circuit Court Judge Fa’au’uga To’oto’o. His recent nomination and confirmation to such as prestigious position are a reflection of years of service and hard work. Though the hours and dedication required of someone in his position are demanding, he continues to make time to volunteer his service to the community. For that, he is also to be commended,” Faleomavaega stated.
“Years ago, my former law school classmate, Mr. Paul Toyozaki, was serving as Deputy Prosecutor for the City and County of Honolulu while Fa’au’uga was applying for a position as a City Prosecutor. I recommended Fa’au’uga highly to Mr. Toyozaki for his exceptional talent, integrity, and hard work. I was very pleased to hear the news when Fa’au’uga started his legal career as a prosecutor for the City and County of Honolulu, and I am even more pleased to share today the news of his continued success.”
“It is my understanding that when Mr. Toyozaki found out that the Hawaii State Bar Association did not recommend Fa’au’uga as Circuit Judge without any explanation or reason, Toyozaki personally went before the Hawaii State Senate Judiciary Committee, testifying in support of Fa’au’uga and severely criticizing the Hawaii State Bar Association. Numerous community leaders also testified in support of Fa’au’uga, attesting to his character and leadership role in the community,” Faleomavaega added.
“Again, I want to congratulate Judge To’oto’o for this monumental accomplishment. I, especially, want to thank him for being a role model to our community and for the years of service he has committed to promoting fairness and justice through the law. I pray for his continued success in the Hawaii’s First Circuit Court and beyond,” Faleomavaega concluded.