Six Charged with Bribery Schemes for Official Acts at the Department of Planning and Permitting of the City and County of Honolulu
News Release from USDoJ, March 30, 2021
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Today, the United District Court for the District of Hawaii unsealed Honest Services Wire Fraud charges against the following six individuals arising out of schemes in which employees of the Department of Planning and Permitting ("DPP") of the City and County of Honolulu took bribes in exchange for performing official acts at DPP:
• Wayne Inouye, 64, of Honolulu, a former Building Plans Examiner at DPP, in Cr. No. 21-00034 LEK (Indictment);
• Jocelyn Godoy, 58, of Pearl City, an employee of the Data Access and Imaging Branch at DPP, in Cr. No. 21-00036 DKW (Indictment);
• Jason Dadez, 42, of Honolulu, a Building Inspector at DPP, in Cr. No. 21-00037 DKW (Indictment);
• Jennie Javonillo, 71, of Waipahu, a former Building Plans Examiner at DPP, in Cr. No. 21-00038 DKW (Indictment);
• Kanani Padeken, 36, of Kaaawa, a Building Plans Examiner at DPP, in Cr. No. 21-00040 DKW (Information); and
• William Wong, 71, of Honolulu, an architect, in Cr. No. 21-00041 DKW (Information).
The Indictment against Mr. Inouye also charges him with one count of making a false material statement to the government.
Acting U.S. Attorney Judith A. Philips stated, "This Office is committed to prosecuting those who betray the public trust for personal gain with all available resources."
"Our citizens entrust their government with great authority and power. It is our responsibility to the communities we serve to represent them ethically and transparently," said Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Eli S. Miranda. "The FBI will bring all its resources to bear and vigorously pursue criminals who attempt to defraud the American people and our institutions."
The charges in the Indictments and Informations are merely allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Nammar and Craig S. Nolan.
HNN: The charges were unsealed today and the FBI arrested several of the former and current DPP staffers this morning. Attorney Megan Kau represents a builder who paid more than $100,000 DPP staffers during the past year…. Kau — whose client is a cooperating with the feds — believes the problem is widespread…. Inouye’s, Javonillo and Godoy’s initial court appearances are set for Wednesday morning.
SA: Bribery charges filed against 5 current and former Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting employees
CB: A local architect has also been indicted in connection with the alleged scheme in the department, which has long been suspected of hosting a pay-to-play culture.
The alleged corruption has been going on for years, according to the indictments.
Inouye allegedly solicited and accepted gifts, payments and other things of value several times in the last decade: approximately $90,000 from an architect and third-party reviewer in 2016 and 2017; about $3,400 from a signage contractor from 2012 to 2017, about $9,600 from a building contractor from 2012 to 2016; and about $1,800 from another signage contractor in 2012.
In exchange, Inouye rewarded those paying the bribes with favorable treatment including expediting permit approvals, according to the indictment. Those individuals were not named in his indictment.
Inouye took steps to hide his criminal activity including by using a sole proprietorship named SKI and Associates, the indictment states.
The other indictments follow the same pattern....
Dadez accepted bribes from a solar contractor from 2012 through August 2020, prosecutors said. In turn, he allegedly helped the company by processing its permit applications. Like others, Dadez is accused of attempting to conceal his wrongdoing by operating in cash and use a personal cell phone and email account to arrange the transactions.
In her indictment, Javonillo is alleged to have solicited and accepted bribes going back as far as 2009 from an architect and third-party reviewer, two architectural draftsmen, an engineer and third-party reviewer, and a builder.
Other than Wong, none of the companies who allegedly paid bribes are named in the indictments.