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Sunday, July 18, 2021
Miske News: Union Boss Gets Greedy -- Almost Pays Price in Blood
By Andrew Walden @ 7:44 PM :: 3749 Views :: Labor, Law Enforcement, Drugs

by Andrew Walden

The Hawaii mafia provides for ‘made men’ coming out of prison via bribe-based hiring systems for high-paying no-show or make-work union jobs allegedly in the ILWU, IATSE, and Teamsters.

That’s what Larry Mehau and Art Rutledge allegedly did years ago and its what Michael Miske was allegedly doing until his recent arrest.

Here’s how it works, according to Larry Mehau’s biography, ‘Goodfather’:

“(Larry Mehau) helped everybody.  And a lot of the guys who come to him are guys who have been in trouble, so the connection to the underworld, yeah, it is there, but he has nothing to do with running it.  There’s a lot of guys he helped put in prison (before leaving HPD), and when they got out they came to him for help.”  -- former Vice President of Operations for Hawaiian Airlines, Alexander ‘Blackie’ Bell, Goodfather p 154

“…sometimes, maybe Larry knew somebody who got out of jail and needed help -- not a serious kind of crime , and he did his time and was having a hard time finding a job, but he couldn’t work for Larry (as a security guard at HPA).  So he’d call my father (Art Rutledge), who had a lot of movie jobs (as Teamsters drivers).  He was giving them a second chance to get off the ground by getting a movie job -- they make good money -- get them back on their feet.  And they went straight basically after that.”…

“Some of the people he had working had a reputation, but as long as they were with Larry they were on the straight and narrow.  I’ve never heard of anybody who worked for Larry who went wrong … I take that back … Maybe a couple.  It all had to do with (what happened) after they left Larry.”   -- Tony Rutledge, Goodfather p 186

“Straight and narrow” -- Are you laughing?

Here is the union news from the current Miske gang trials:

A Surprise Revelation In The Miske Case: A Plot To Kill A Union Official

Ian Lind June 14, 2021: …   After declining to get involved in Fraser’s kidnapping, (IATSE Exec Board member Norman) Akau then accepted a second offer to murder an individual, identified only as Victim 12, for the same $50,000 fee.

The intended victim’s car was equipped with a GPS tracker, which allowed Miller and Akau to follow it to a plate lunch restaurant on Sand Island, Inciong said.

Akau was carrying a gun in his backpack, and was supposed to shoot the victim when he came out of the restaurant. But at the last moment, Miller told Akau not to shoot because he had been unable to remove the GPS monitor, which could have tied them to the crime….

Responding to Watson, Akau made a passing reference to the intended victim as a “union rep.”

Watson then asked why this victim had been targeted.

Akau said the problem involved hiring for jobs on the docks, and that removing Victim 12 “would help the flow of jobs onto the docks.”…

Several of Miske’s crew, including his son, Caleb, and brother, John Stancil, had landed coveted jobs on the docks. It was widely rumored Miske had paid handsomely to allow the people he referred to jump to the front of the line for the union card necessary to land the highly paid waterfront jobs…

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported in 2019 that the FBI was investigating reports that some trying to get stevedore jobs paid up to $60,000 in cash for the privilege….

read … A Surprise Revelation In The Miske Case: A Plot To Kill A Union Official

“…Maybe a couple went wrong….”

Miske Case Rocks Stagehand Union After Executive Board Member’s Guilty Plea

Ian Lind July 13, 2021: … Norman Akau pleaded guilty to taking part in the Miske organization last month. Another union member says coworkers plotted with Miske to kill him after a falling out….

Akau was a convicted felon and still on parole when he filed to run for a seat on the union board. He had confessed to shooting a taxi driver with a sawed-off shotgun in a botched 1994 robbery when he was 21 years old. He was sentenced to 20 years in 1995, but ‘earned’ an early release from prison in 2004, and became an IATSE member in May 2009, while still on parole. Akau’s co-defendent in the robbery, Gregory Nagao, received his union card a month later.

Questions were raised during the 2013 election about Akau’s eligibility, in light of his prior felony conviction, but those concerns were dismissed by the union’s leadership. Akau was deemed eligible to run for and hold a position on the executive board….  

There were rumors within the union that a member of the executive board was taking envelopes of cash in exchange for fast-tracking applications for union membership and jobs, and suspicion focused on Akau, according to several members, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation. Payments were rumored to be as much as $20,000. Just months before his arrest, the matter was raised at an executive board meeting, and changes were made to the internal vetting process, reportedly over Akau’s objections….

…July 17, 2020, Hawaii News Now broadcast an exclusive interview with Lindsey Kinney, an IATSE Local 665 member since September 2011, who also had ties to Miske until the two apparently had a falling out….

Kinney said during the interview that he became the target of a murder plot after turning down Miske’s offer of $50,000 to kill Jonathan Fraser, who Miske blamed for the death of his son, and later declining a second offer of $20,000 to remain silent….

Kinney said his refusal of both offers made him “a loose end” that had to be eliminated.

In the HNN interview, Kinney said he had been working as a grip alongside Akau during the filming of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” at Kualoa Ranch in May 2017, when he was told Miske wanted to fight and was waiting in a nearby parking area.

Kinney said he walked over to meet Miske, but as he approached, two other men standing near Miske’s Mercedes sedan pulled out handguns and started firing. Several shots were fired, but Kinney was able to run from the scene without being injured….

Later, in a video rant on Instagram, Kinney called out Miske, Akau, and another rigging grip working on the movie, Zeph Kimo Salis, along with Jacob “Jake” Smith, for having been planning the ambush at Kualoa for some time. At the time of the shooting, Salis was not yet an IATSE member, but was sworn in five months later.

“Zeph and Norman were dying to get on that table, dying,” Kinney said. “They took money over loyalty and respect.”

Miske and his half-brother, John Stancil, one of the shooters, are charged with assault and attempted murder in aid of racketeering for their role in the shooting.

Jake Smith, the second shooter, pleaded guilty in November 2020 and admitted being part of the Miske organization and taking part in the ambush at Kualoa.

Zeph Salis died in a motorcycle accident in Kaneohe just seven months later.

Akau pleaded guilty to being part of Miske’s racketeering organization.

Harry Kauhi, who prosecutors allege also accompanied Miske on the day of the Kualoa shooting but was not armed, is a co-defendant in the racketeering case.

Miske, Stancil and Kauhi have been drivers in the Movie Division of Teamster Local 996…

read … Miske Case Rocks Stagehand Union After Executive Board Member’s Guilty Plea

And one more …

Miske case snags film industry union through board member’s guilty plea

Ian Lind July 13, 2021: …Akau’s co-defendent in the (1994 cab driver) robbery, Gregory Nagao, received his union card a month later.

In 2006, federal authorities alleged Nagao was a member of the CIRCO Boys gang of Honolulu. Although Nagao had come to Hawaii as a child and had been living here legally, he was later deported to his native South Korea after the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency determined his felony conviction in the 1994 case had violated the conditions of his green card.

But I’m told his membership dues were being paid and his membership remained active, at least until Akau’s arrest last year. And Akau was using an email address that had been Nagao’s, and that email address was listed in union newsletters as Akau’s primary contact as an executive board member….

read … Miske case snags film industry union through board member’s guilty plea

Its not all bad news.  The feds are investigating:

…Akau’s guilty plea comes at an awkward time for the stagehands’ union, which is now undergoing a compliance audit being conducted by federal Office of Labor-Management Standards, the agency within the U.S. Department of Labor charged with setting and enforcing basic standards of democracy and financial integrity in labor organizations….

The audit, which reportedly began in March and is still underway, was first acknowledged by Tuiaʻana Scanlan, the union’s president, during a general membership meeting held via Zoom at the end of June, according to several union members….

late on the afternoon of July 16, 2020, less than 24 hours after Akau turned himself in to federal authorities, Robin Kekuewa Wong, then-Secretary-Treasurer of Local 665, received a telephone call from Pearl Moenahele, supervisor investigator for the Los Angeles District of the Office of Labor-Management Standards.

The same day, Hawaii News Now broadcast its’ exclusive interview with Lindsey Kinney…

The fresh federal scrutiny of IATSE follows federal investigation and prosecution of other labor leaders over the past several years. The former business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260 and two family members are currently awaiting trial for embezzlement and conspiracy. The trial is scheduled to begin in October.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s former longshore division director is serving a 30-month sentence for identity theft and failure to file personal income tax returns.

The former business manager of Laborers Local 722 – Hawaii Electrical Workers was convicted of embezzlement in 2019, sentenced to an 18-month prison term and required to pay $185,000 in restitution.

And Civil Beat reported in October that a federal grand jury is probing financial matters within the 13,000-member United Public Workers, which represents state and county blue-collar workers, after the union’s director and financial administrator were ousted following a union audit....

read … Miske Case Rocks Stagehand Union After Executive Board Member’s Guilty Plea

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