OHA Sacrifices $3.2M to Hide Lawyer’s Conflict of Interest?
Corruption Charges dropped against Wannabe Big Island Police Chief
WHT: … Charges against a retired Hawaii Police Department captain accused of tipping off arcade owners prior to a gambling raid have been dropped.
According to court records, all four charges against Chadwick Fukui — two counts each of second-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence, all misdemeanors — were dismissed on Dec. 12….
The charges against Fukui, a former Hilo Criminal Investigations Division commander who retired after 34 years service in 2006 and worked as an investigator for the Hawaii County Office of Prosecuting Attorney from 2007-2014, were in connection with an Aug. 10, 2017, raid on Triple 7 arcade in the Canario Building in downtown Hilo.
Fukui applied to be police chief in 2008, but then-Deputy Chief Harry Kubojiri was chosen.
Fukui and Brian Miller, a retired Hawaii Police Department detective, were charged in separate indictments by a Kona grand jury with tipping off Triple 7 arcade owners Lance and Stacey Yamada prior to the raid.
Miller still faces similar charges in connection with the gambling raid, as well as unrelated felony charges in connection with the alleged theft of cocaine from a police evidence locker in May 2016.
A court document indicates then-Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura ruled prior to retiring on Dec. 1 that phone records obtained by way of an administrative subpoena issued to AT&T Wireless Subpoena Compliance Center which reflect telephone numbers of calls made to and from Fukui’s cellphone are inadmissible as evidence because “the constitutional requirement of obtaining a warrant for telephone records applied.”
(IQ Test: You know what was on those phone number transcripts, right?)
Fukui’s attorney, Douglas Halsted, cited the state Supreme Court in the 1989 Hawaii v. Rothman ruling (Supreme Court justices saving the butt of anti-GMO drug-dealer Fast Eddie Rothman.) that telephone users in Hawaii “have a reasonable expectation of privacy, with respect to the numbers that they call on their private lines, and with respect to the telephone numbers of calls made to them on their private lines. That is, they have a reasonable expectation that the government will not tap their private telephones to obtain such information, or require the telephone company to supply such information to it, unless the government has obtained a proper and legal warrant … .”
read … Corruption
Alleged Drug Dealer Walks–Evidence Dismissed due to Police Wrongdoing
WHT: … Charges in a 2-year-old drug case have been dropped because of officer misconduct, a judge ruled.
Jose Miranda was charged in December 2017 with 11 counts of first-degree promoting a dangerous drug, class A felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
But last week Judge Robert D.S. Kim filed a findings of fact that granted Miranda’s motion to suppress evidence. Because of his judgment to suppress all of the evidence, Deputy Prosecutor Kauanoe Jackson filed a motion to drop the charges with prejudice, meaning the state cannot refile the case.
That motion was granted Thursday.
The ruling closes a case that featured an unusually public back-and-forth between the judge and state regarding the police officer involved, retired detective Sean Smith….
Smith was administratively charged with standards of conduct relating to truthfulness, subversive acts prohibited, firearms discharge and obedience to laws, written orders policies, etc. in connection with the 11-day manhunt for fugitive Walter Gomes III in late-March.
Ferreira placed Smith on leave in April, determining that his retention at the workplace or any other police facility in any capacity was detrimental to the conduct of the investigation and would compromise its integrity and operation of the department as allowed in the SHOPO collective bargaining agreement….
However, Smith retired on May 31, before any disciplinary action was taken. Ferreira, in a July 2 declaration to the court, said he received notice of Smith’s application for retirement on May 20 effective June 1….
read … Kim finds evidence gathered not admissible, closing drug case involving officer recommended for firing
Former SHOPO President Sues Over Police Chief Comments
CB: … Maafala contends in the lawsuit that Ballard defamed Maafala when she told Civil Beat reporter Nick Grube that she had concerns about how the unit was being run and that it had veered from its original concept as a volunteer-based program to help officers cope with stress, including line-of-duty shootings, drug abuse and domestic violence. The PSU initially had involved numerous officers helping fellow officers but in 2017 it was just the three union officials. She also raised questions about whether overtime was being used properly…..
read … Former SHOPO President Sues Over Police Chief Comments
OHA officials should be accountable to state
SA: … You are absolutely correct requesting the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to comply with an official audit, especially after legislators cited a 2018 audit that flagged spending irregularities and possible breaches of OHA board members’ fiduciary duty (“Beset OHA should comply with audit,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, Jan. 2). Instead, OHA chairwoman Colette Machado and Vice Chairman Brendon Kaleiaina Lee deny access to complete and unredacted minutes of OHA’s meetings.
Who do they think they are? They are accountable to the state for these funds, and most importantly accountable to Native Hawaiians, who should be outraged about OHA’s shenanigans. In the next election, throw the rascals out and keep them away from the cookie jar….
read … OHA officials should be accountable to state
TMT supporters rally at Hawai‘i Convention Center
SA: … Supporters of the Thirty Meter Telescope waved signs and flags Sunday outside of the Hawai‘i Convention Center while a major astronomy conference was being held inside.
The convention, which runs through Wednesday, is the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. More than 3,400 astronomers, educators and students were attending the convention….
Kim said he will meet with Gov. David Ige today to discuss the next step in the standoff….
The American Astronomical Society was to discuss the TMT controversy during a series of panels and presentations.
In a news release, society President Megan Donahue of Michigan State University said the controversy is about much more than the construction of a new telescope on a mountain many Hawaiians consider sacred.
“It’s also about the historical mistreatment of indigenous people, the islands’ economy and many other complex and interrelated issues,” she said….
read … TMT supporters rally at Hawai‘i Convention Center
Hearings to be held on Young Brothers rate hikes today and Tuesday
MN: … Public hearings to discuss interisland shipper Young Brothers’ 34 percent rate hike will be held at 5 p.m. today at the Molokai Office of Hawaiian Affairs Facility Conference Room in Kaunakakai and at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku.
The state Public Utilities Commission is conducting the hearings on the Young Brothers’ request filed Sept. 25. The shipper, which operates between Oahu, Hawaii island, Kauai, Maui, Molokai and Lanai, is seeking a 10.7 percent return on equity, a public notice said….
Written comments also may be mailed to the Public Utilities Commission, 465 S. King St., Room No. 103, Honolulu 96813 or emailed to email@example.com. All written comments should reference Docket No. 2019-0117.
Copies of Young Brothers’ application are available through the PUC’s electronic Document Management System at dms.puc.hawaii.gov/dms
read … Hearings to be held on Young Brothers rate hikes today and Tuesday
Massive DoE Cash Giveaway Begins Tuesday
HPR: … Pay increases for public school teachers in hard-to-fill positions, including those for special education, rural areas and Hawaiian language immersion, start on Tuesday.
The initiative gives special education teachers a $10,000 annual pay increase. Rural teachers would receive between $3,000 and $8,000 on a tiered system based on schools meeting certain criteria. Hawaiian immersion teachers would receive an additional $8,000 yearly.
The pay differentials will cost the Hawaii Department of Education $14.6 million….
read … Pay Hikes for Special Ed, Hawaiian Language, Rural School Teachers Start On Tuesday
State Refusing to Insure Charter Schools?
CB: … For a massive state agency like the Hawaii Department of Education, the obligation to pay a $75,000 settlement from its $2 billion operating budget may come as no major loss.
But for a charter school, which is an independently run public school, such a financial obligation could exert a heavy toll.
That’s the fear in the charter school community lately in the wake of the case of Waimea Middle School, a conversion charter school on the Big Island that counts 256 students in grades 6 to 8….
Historically, claims against the state have been paid with annual legislative appropriations from the general fund. But over the last several years, the Legislature has been shifting the financial burden to the responsible state agency, in order to deter future activity or behavior that led to the lawsuit.
“The policy is, the department that generates the wrongdoing behavior, should pay. Otherwise, how will they ever change their ways?” said Rep. Sylvia Luke, chair of the Finance Committee.
While the idea behind the policy shift was to hold state agencies more accountable and ultimately save taxpayers money, it has set off fears in the charter school community that such potential legal obligations could financially cripple schools already running on lean budgets.
“We’re setting a precedent here,” said Joe Uno, chair of the Waimea school’s governing board, the nonprofit Ho’okako’o Corp. “I think it’s important for all the charter schools to understand how important this is to us as a group.”…
read … A $75,000 Settlement Is Scaring Hawaii Charter Schools
Hawaii's new Title IX law includes incentives for Students to Turn Gay
KITV: … Hawaii's new Title IX law is the first in the nation to include protection for LGBTQ+ students….
(Which is funny because apparently the Hawaii DoE is the LAST in the nation to build female locker-rooms.)
Big Q: What do you think of the new law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use?
read … Hawaii's new Title IX law includes protection for LGBTQ+ students
Marketing Technique: Tourism Industry Continues to Promote Eco-Hysteria
MN: … The public is invited to learn about ways to prevent harmful ocean pollution by choosing tested alternatives to herbicides and pesticides for their homes, businesses and landscaping at a free presentation at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at The Sphere at Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea.
The guest speaker will be Duane Sparkman, assistant chief engineer and landscaping manager at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa.
(IQ Test: Are you laughing?)
The talk is part of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s “Know Your Ocean Speaker Series.” Reservations are encouraged due to limited seating at The Sphere and can be made by going to bit.ly/DuaneSparkman.
Sparkman offers firsthand knowledge about what works to control pests and weeds based on his years of experience as a professional landscaper, designing and maintaining luxury resort properties and private residences; his work at Haleakala National Park’s Vegetation Management Division; and in his current capacity at The Westin Maui….
(And he should know because nobody uses more pesticides than resorts.)
read … Tourism Marketing
Hawaii bankruptcies in 2019 hit highest level in 5 years
SA: … There were 1,666 bankruptcy cases for the year, up 11.8% from 1,490 in 2018 and the most since there were 1,702 in 2014, according to data released Thursday from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii. Until the recent uptick, Hawaii bankruptcies had fallen for seven years in a row.
Honolulu bankruptcy attorney Ed Magauran said the cost of living in Hawaii is taking its toll on residents…
read … Hawaii bankruptcies in 2019 hit highest level in 5 years