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Monday, January 20, 2020
January 20, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:56 PM :: 3276 Views

1959: Martin Luther King Jr Salutes Hawaii Statehood

TMT Supporters Help Clean Up Protest Camp After Photos Expose Messy Mauna

DoTax: State Tax Collections up $380M

Auditor: DBEDT Hides $6.5M from Legislature

Attorney general seeks funds to fight corruption

SA: … State Attorney General Clare Connors is requesting an extra $1 million a year for pay increases to be distributed among the 200 lawyers that work in her office, and is seeking 10 additional staffers for a new unit designed to pursue complex cases including public corruption and theft from state programs….

In a presentation to lawmakers last week, Connors asked for $510,000 for the Complex Litigation Fraud and Compliance Unit, which she said is designed to “strengthen public confidence in government by investigating and prosecuting complex matters including government corruption, program theft and fraud, campaign spending fraud, bribery and other matters that could erode the public’s confidence in government.”

The unit is empowered to pursue administrative and civil penalties as well as criminal prosecutions, and can work with federal and local authorities to pursue cases, according to testimony submitted by Connors, who is a former assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division in Hawaii.

The unit is being led by Larry Tong, who recently moved to the AG’s office from the Honolulu U.S. Attorney’s Office. Tong is a longtime federal prosecutor who supervised both the criminal and civil litigation divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office “and led complex corruption investigations that resulted in numerous convictions,” according to Connors’ office….

During the past year the office lost 45 deputies, including many who left for other government jobs. The pay increases “will help with both recruitment and retention, which are critically important to the long-term stability and growth of the Department of the Attorney General,” according to the memo.

read … Attorney general seeks funds to fight corruption

Cop Killer was Mental Case -- Second Barricade at House 

SA: … Hanel’s attorney Jonathan Burge told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the 69-year-old from the Czech Republic suffered from mental problems and repeated conflicts with neighbors.

“But this is shocking,” Burge said. “I didn’t think he was capable of such extreme violence.”

Burge said his client had a history of mental issues, was paranoid and believed the FBI and the Secret Service were tracking him.

(If he had been forcibly incarcerated in a lunatic asylum, two officers would be alive today.)

He barricaded himself in the downstairs space where he lived in the Hibiscus Drive house in 2015 when police came to arrest him on charges he assaulted a neighbor.

(If he had been imprisoned doing hard time for the barricade in 2015, two officers would be alive today.)

Court records indicate that at least three neighbors had filed restraining orders against Hanel. The man was accused of pushing one of those neighbors and he was charged with assault. Burge said Hanel was acquitted….

HOPE probationers have been linked to some of Oahu’s most violent crimes

SA: … HOPE stands for Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation With Enforcement. Launched by 1st Circuit Court Judge Steven Alm in 2004, the high-intensity supervision program assigns sanctions — typically several days in jail — every time a participant violates probation terms like using drugs or missing appointments with a probation officer.

Alm, who is now running for Honolulu prosecutor, said HOPE is working but that, as with any probation program, some participants will get in trouble.

To be sure, the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office has noted that about a dozen high-profile violent crime cases referred to their office since 2015 have been committed by current and former HOPE probationers. In six of these, police shot the suspect, and in three of the cases killed him.

James Borling-Salas, the 23-year-old man who died Thursday after sustaining a traumatic injury from an alleged assault at Oahu Community Correctional Center, also was a HOPE probationer. He was at OCCC for failing to meet the terms of probation relating to a 2015 nonviolent conviction.

Honolulu Acting Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto said as many as six of the HOPE-related cases have occurred since September. For example, Dallas Pearce, 33, was shot and killed by Honolulu police Jan. 6 during a standoff at Aikahi Gardens. Pearce was an escapee of the Laumaka Work Furlough Center, where he was serving time for first-degree burglary. A former HOPE probationer, Pearce had been found guilty of first-degree burglary in 2012 and third-degree promoting dangerous drugs in 2011….

Alm said studies show that HOPE works and it’s been so successful in Hawaii that 32 other states have adopted variations. But Nadamoto said recent HOPE failures, including Pearce’s case, are worthy of scrutiny along with the state Legislature’s decision to remove third-degree possession of dangerous drugs (pdd3) from being counted as a repeat offense in the penal code….

(Translation: Kaneshiro’s hand-picked Nadamoto is trying to undermine Alm’s candidacy for Prosecutor.)…

Alm said he created HOPE after realizing that regular probation wasn’t working for all convicted criminals, especially those who needed swift oversight or viewed the system as arbitrary and unfair.

For example, he points to a Feb. 1, 2005, motion to set aside a conditional discharge that was originally granted to Richard Hodge and find him guilty of promoting a dangerous drug in the third degree. According to court records, Hodge, who was on probation as usual, violated the terms more than 40 times (mostly related to drug use) from April 2007 to when the system intervened. In 2008 he was resentenced to five years’ confinement….

read … HOPE probationers have been linked to some of Oahu’s most violent crimes

Arson case opened after Homeless Drug Addicts cause 2-alarm house fire in Aiea

HNN: … Honolulu firefighters have opened a first-degree arson case after a large blaze destroyed a home in Aiea on Saturday.

Neighbors say the home on Hekaha Street was abandoned and that homeless people have been seen coming and going from the property.

The fire started just before 4:40 p.m., and a dark plume of smoke could be seen from miles away….

A neighbor says he heard a small explosion and then spotted flames pouring out of the house….

read … Arson case opened following raging, 2-alarm house fire in Aiea

Paddlers say homeless ruining bays

WHT: … Graffiti, drug use, defecation and other illegal activities have reached a point where the Big Island’s paddling community is pushing back.

“It’s intimidating for the kids,” said Doug Bumatay, Moku O Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Racing Association vice president and Paddlers of Laka athletic director. “Right now, it’s the middle of the high school season and they don’t even want to go to the bathrooms. They don’t want go use the restrooms. They don’t want to go in there to change. It’s terrible.”…

While Bumatay was describing the unsavory conditions presented at Hilo Bayfront, the situation is the same around the island, according to the association that comprises 15 canoe clubs.

“When the (Kailua Pier) bathrooms are closed, the homeless are starting to use our canoes as their facilities,” said Kai Opua Athletic Director Mike Atwood, who is also a board member of the association. “It creates a health issue as well as a potential safety issue once the paddlers come down the next day.”

And it’s been escalating.

“In the last several months, this activity has increased dramatically down at Bayfront,” said Bumatay. “It’s always been there, but kind of in the shadows, but now it’s right up front.”

About a dozen people from the association’s member clubs brought forth the issue before the Hawaii County Police Commission during its monthly meeting Friday at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

Joining them was Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy, who is helping to spearhead the effort with the hope of finding a solution now and for the long run as the Big Island will soon be in the spotlight for the 2020 IVF World Sprints in Hilo Aug. 15-23 followed by the annual Queen Liliuokalani Canoe Race in Aug. 29-Sept. 2….

Police Commission Chairman John Bertsch recognized the extent of the problem, noting that in his 13 years on the commission, he’s never had people from around the whole island discussing a single issue before it. He said what is occurring is a criminological theory called the “broken windows theory.”

“Basically crime proliferates crime,” he said. “Once you start to see (crime) then it starts to snowball and exacerbate itself and we need to get our hands wrapped around it.”…

read … Paddlers say homeless ruining bays

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