September 28, 2022

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Former Prison Chief Nolan Espinda Found Dead At Kailua Beach

Nolan Espinda, a longtime Hawaii jail warden and previous director of the Office of General public Security throughout Gov. David Ige’s administration, was found lifeless at Kailua Beach front on Thursday.

Resources mentioned Espinda apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a firearm was identified near his human body.

Department of Community Protection Director Max Otani despatched out an e mail informing workers of Espinda’s death Thursday evening, describing Espinda as a “career (General public Protection) worker who rose from being a line staff to warden, and sooner or later became our director for 6 decades. His contributions to our office will not be forgotten.”

Espinda’s spouse Malia issued a penned assertion Friday that described her partner as “the most excellent, visionary, and principled male I have at any time recognized.”

” ‘Just do the Suitable detail just about every time’ was his mantra and he held an unwavering core worth of his individual accountability to each taxpayer in Hawaii,” she wrote. “Nolan was a man of several phrases, but a gentleman of sturdy actions and much better convictions.”

“Acting on his convictions inevitably introduced resistance and criticism from some who misunderstood his reason.  With the power of his wide shoulders, Nolan endured via all, until eventually he could no more.  We have misplaced a lovely, deeply loving man who his little ones and I will skip without end additional,” Malia Espinda wrote.

For the duration of his prolonged vocation in corrections Espinda served as warden of the Oahu Community Correctional Heart, which is the state’s most significant jail, and in 2009 he took handle of Halawa Correctional Facility. Halawa is Hawaii’s biggest prison, with much more than 1,100 prisoners.

Nolan Espinda, heart, listened to Senate deliberations on his 2nd affirmation in 2019 as his spouse Malia and Gov. David Ige seemed on. Cory Lum/Civil Conquer/2019

Ige first appointed Espinda to the job of director of the state Department of General public Basic safety in 2014. He effortlessly gained affirmation from the point out Senate that 12 months, but experienced to combat to be reconfirmed to the career soon after Ige gained a next phrase in 2018.

Senators expressed problems about a riot at the Maui jail and other problems, but Espinda lastly won confirmation for a next time in 2019 in a 17-8 vote.

Espinda abruptly retired the pursuing calendar year as Covid-19 distribute in OCCC in what emerged as the major an infection cluster in the point out. The Hawaii Federal government Staff members Association and the United General public Employees union both of those called for his elimination at the time, alleging he experienced mishandled the reaction to the pandemic.

A graduate of Iolani College and California Condition University, Espinda began his job in corrections as a recreation expert at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in 1983. He moved into grownup corrections at OCCC in 1988, and was named performing warden of the least safety Waiawa Correctional Facility in 1990.

In the a long time that adopted he served as performing warden or warden at OCCC two times, and was named warden at Halawa 2 times as properly.

Otani issued a general public assertion Thursday that Espinda “dedicated his complete job to corrections and to serving the folks of the Point out of Hawaii. His tragic untimely decline leaves us all shocked. We want to convey our deepest condolences to his family members and his (General public Protection) Ohana.”

Gov. David Ige reported in a prepared statement Friday that “Nolan Espinda’s vocation was spent serving the general public in Hawaiʻi’s corrections services and administration, careers that are normally complicated and usually thankless. I am saddened by this unexpected and tragic reduction, and I convey my deepest appreciation for Nolan’s commitment and many years of community company. I would like his relatives energy and consolation in the challenging days forward.”