DHHL: Can’t Spend $60M, Asks for $500M
Ideological Diversity? Honolulu Ranks 295th
As Kenoi Heads for Trial, Mafia Murderer Malu Motta Suddenly Demands Pardon
HTH: …Ethan Keliihoomalu “Malu” Motta, 47, is incarcerated at the high-security U.S. Penitentiary Lee in Pennington Gap, Va. He was convicted in 2009 on two counts of committing murder in support of criminal racketeering, which carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole, after a month long jury trial in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
He and two other men, Rodney Joseph Jr. and Kevin “Pancho” Gonsalves, shot and killed Lepo Utu Taliese, 44, and Romilius Corpus Jr., 40, during a midday meeting Jan. 7, 2004, between rival underworld factions in the parking lot of the Pali Golf Course. Motta also shot 47-year-old Tinoimalu Sao in the head with a silenced .22-caliber handgun.
Sao survived and testified against Motta and Joseph. Taliese, as he lay mortally wounded on the golf course, also said Motta and Joseph had shot him.
Joseph also received a life sentence, while Gonsalves was sentenced to 27 1/2 years.
Kwai-Chang Publico, a Hilo entertainment promoter and owner of Fearless Hawaiian Enterprises, was one who signed the petition. Publico, who wrote Motta “does more good than bad,” said Motta was a friend but he “didn’t know that Malu” described in media accounts as a statewide crime boss and murderer.
“He was close with everybody, everybody,” Publico said Friday. “He’s always done a lot of good and helped a lot of people. I used to think of him as Robin Hood back in the day. We’ve had very parallel lives. … We worked in the Naniloa, we did promotions, we had a store in the (Prince Kuhio) Plaza. We had the parallels that way, but I don’t know him in the other world.”
According to the March 11, 2009, issue of the Honolulu Advertiser, Motta took the witness stand and disputed prosecutors’ description of him as a gangster and murderer who told an FBI informant in October 2004 he had a state judge “in his pocket.” The informant, Jonnaven Monalim, testified Motta also told him he had a friend who might one day be governor and pardon him if he were convicted in state court — an apparent reference to Billy Kenoi, a college friend of Motta’s who would be elected mayor in November 2008, and who spoke briefly at a legal fundraiser for Motta in Hilo in 2004.
Kenoi, whose felony theft trial is scheduled to start Monday, told the Advertiser in May 2008 “everybody knows everybody” on the Big Island.
“We live in a small town and when allegations surface, you don’t suddenly act like you don’t know the person,” he was quoted as saying.
The feds assumed jurisdiction over the cases of Motta, Joseph and Gonsalves after they were already in state court….
read … Motta petition a ‘last Hail Mary’?
Bank Job Makes Caldwell #1 in Corruption
Shapiro: Mayor Kirk Caldwell denied at a recent debate with opponent Charles Djou that his post as a director of Territorial Savings Bank, which pays him $200,000 to $299,000 a year according to his financial disclosure, constitutes a second job in addition to his mayoral role that pays $164,928.
He described the lucrative bank position he’s clung to tenaciously against charges of conflict of interest as more of a service than a job, like he was helping out a community group.
How could it be a job, he asked, when he puts in only an hour or two a month for the bank?
Question to him, then: Unless he lays golden eggs, what could he possibly provide in an hour a month that’s worth $299,000 to Territorial other than political influence?
Neither the mayor nor the Ethics Commission has offered examples of other Hawaii chief executives on either the city or state level who have mixed such rich outside positions with their public jobs….
According to Territorial’s annual report, one of Caldwell’s duties is to head the committee that sets pay for bank executives, while Honolulu Civil Beat has reported that said executives donated at least $25,000 to his mayoral campaigns….
read … No Ethics
Democrats Decide not to Throw out HD44 Candidate
CB: Chair Tim Vandeveer said in a press release that “Mr. Gates would not have been eligible to run as a Democrat in 2016 due to a combination of factors, most notably that he was not at the time technically a formal member” of the party….
Vandeveer explained, “The conclusions of an extensive report on the matter indicate that all parties made various procedural or bureaucratic errors over a two-year period and that despite any inactions or errors on the part of the candidates, the DPH administration (through its own errors and inactions) was in a position at various times to affect the outcome in either direction.”
“The DPH wishes him success,” said Vandeveer, who added that the party has apologized to Jordan.
Gates faces Republican Marc Pa’aluhi in the general election Nov. 8….
read … Cedric Gates Candidacy Stands
Can you stand it? So much drama on Kauai Council
Borreca: …At issue on Kauai is a long-standing County Council rule and how it is being enforced. For now it has Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura standing in protest — literally.
An Oct. 4 Garden Island newspaper report explains that Council Chairman Mel Rapozo is strictly enforcing a 35-year-old rule that says Council members have five minutes to speak on each item on the Council agenda. Also, they cannot speak more than twice on the same subject.
At two different meetings last month, Yukimura was forbidden from speaking more than five minutes, so she got out of her chair and simply stood in silent protest.
“We have time limits, and JoAnn constantly tries to challenge the time limits,” Rapozo said in an interview.
“She said she had important things to say. I told her I am not going to recognize her for a third time. So she stood up and now she is doing it all the time,” Rapozo explained….
Rapozo said Yukimura’s motivation is political and tied to her poor showing in the primary election, where she came in eighth in a 16-person race. In the general election, the top seven will get Council seats.
read … Can you stand it? So much drama on Kauai Council
Dopers Still Working on Getting Marijuana into Candy
KGI: The group tasked with developing and recommending legislation to improve the medical marijuana system to ensure safe and legal access to qualifying patients is scheduled to have its first meeting in Honolulu on Wednesday….
…Belatti, who supports medical marijuana, said the working group will address issues and concerns emerging from the community.
“In addition to just being eager to know when the first licensee may be able to start production and how that is going to impact product, we have people who are concerned about things like edibles, reciprocity, with other patients from other states,” she said. “We want to continually look at the experiences of the other states that have medical marijuana programs and how they are best facilitating their programs.”
Koki expressed concerns about the medical marijuana permitting process and edibles.
“I really hope that … the marijuana clinics that are going to be dispensing (medical marijuana) will make sure for its original intention,” she said. “To me, the permitting has gotten out of hand. Anybody can fake chronic pain. We advocated for no edibles in Hawaii. That’s a big misuse with kids in the Mainland. Marijuana doesn’t belong in a kid’s candy.”
read … Candy
New policy would bank $680M in state rainy day fund
SA: Gov. David Ige has adopted a new budget reserve policy that seeks to sock away hundreds of millions of dollars in the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve fund in the years ahead, creating a cash pool for future emergencies that would be far greater than any amount the fund ever held before….
Once money is placed in the rainy day fund, it cannot be used for certain purposes (without playing a shell game first), including paying the expenses of the state Legislature, or paying raises or other benefits negotiated by public workers in their union contracts….
“I appreciate the intention,” Geminiani said of Ige’s approach. “I’m a fiscal conservative, and I believe that you really have to watch how you spend dollars, but at some point you’ve got to deal with the current realities, not necessarily the future contingencies.
“We’ve got the highest cost of living, the highest cost of affordable housing in the nation, we’ve got the highest tax burden in the Unites States, and the lowest wages when you factor in the cost of living,” he said. “When are people in the state government going to start to deal with the current realities of our low- and moderate-income people, and the struggle that they go through on a day-to-day basis?”
The state has failed to take even minimal steps to help families cope with economic stresses such as rapidly increasing rents, low wages and a burdensome state tax structure, he said. Instead, the state has maintained “atrocious” and regressive tax policies that burden working families, Geminiani said….
read … New policy would bank $680M in state rainy day fund