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Friday, April 8, 2022
April 8, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:33 PM :: 3626 Views

PIT Count: Chronic Homeless up 18% in Hawaii

New Monitoring Wells to be Installed at Red Hill

Top Department of Public Safety Training Officer Attested by Attorney General

SA: … The employee in charge of training corrections officers and deputy sheriffs at the Hawaii Department of Public Safety was arrested this morning for allegedly falsifying her credentials to get promoted.

Special agents from the Department of Attorney General’s Investigation Division arrested J. Marte Martinez in Honolulu this morning, the department said.

She was charged with two counts of perjury, six counts of tampering with a government record, and six counts of unsworn falsification to authorities….

The state Attorney General’s office said the charges arose from alleged conduct that took place from 2015 through 2019 while Martinez was employed by DPS.

She made false representations starting in 2015 when applying for various positions, ranging from firearms training specialist to performance based management coordinator, professional standards and accreditation manager, and public safety training officer.

Martinez was under scrutiny from the Hawaii Labor Relations Board for falsifying her credentials, including where she received her college degrees…. 

April 9, 2022: Arrest a ‘Long time Coming’ -- Now Top DPS Trainer Gets Paid Vacation as Reward for Being Arrested

read … Hawaii DPS head of training arrested for allegedly falsifying credentials

Embezzlement: Feds Nail Another Top ILWU Longshore Division Official

ILind: … Judge Leslie Kobayashi is presiding over the criminal trial of Charles Kimo Brown, who was secretary-treasurer of the ILWU’s Longshore Division from December 2009 until around April 2014. Brown is charged with falsifying union pay vouchers in order to receive payments he was not entitled to. Each of two incidents that serve as the basis for the indictment involve filing a false pay voucher, which resulted in receiving more than he should have, essentially embezzling from the union, prosecutors allege.

The two instances charged in the indictment involve two allegedly false vouchers filed in April 2014. They led to only a relatively small overpayment, just $1,575 in total.

(Translation: They wanted Brown to sing but he wouldn’t.)

But the government alleges that these were part of a pattern of overpayments that started as soon as Brown took office and continued through his term. The earlier instances could not be charged because they were beyond the statute of limitations by the time they were discovered by prosecutors. Leading up to the trial, prosecutors gained approval to use evidence of the prior instances in court during the trial, over the objections of Brown’s defense attorney, William Harrison.

“[T]he defendant did not wake up in April 2014 and decide to start stealing from the union on two isolated occasions occurring during two weeks in April 2014; rather, he had been doing it consistently for more than four years already and the charged offenses were just the latest in a long string of embezzlements,” prosecutors allege.

“The crimes charged in the Indictment were allegedly part of a much longer scheme, beginning in January 2010 and continuing thereafter until April 21, 2014. The Government did not seek additional counts relating to the earlier thefts and false entries because they were time-barred by the five-year statute of limitations on the day the case was presented to the grand jury,” prosecutors stated in court filings.

Prosecutors allege Brown embezzled about $100,000 from the ILWU Longshore Division during the time he was secretary-treasurer office….

Nate Lum, who had controlled the docks for years as the longtime ILWU Longshore Division director and signed off on Brown’s pay vouchers, was himself convicted of tax evasion and identity theft in 2020 and sentenced to 30 months in prison….

(Translation: They wanted Lum to sing but he wouldn’t.)

read … Two corruption trials underway in federal court this week

Honolulu Officers Detail Katherine Kealoha’s Role In Probe Of Her Brother

CB: … Two Honolulu police officers told a jury Thursday that they witnessed then-Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha insert herself into an investigation involving her brother, who is on trial for allegedly running a prescription drug ring….

Katherine Kealoha already has pleaded guilty to helping her brother avoid prosecution in the drug case. The witnesses on Thursday testified that the then deputy prosecutor was so involved that she showed up in person during a drug raid being conducted in 2015 as part of the investigation.

“I’ve never had a prosecutor show up at the scene of an enforcement activity,” HPD Sgt. Grant Jhun, a narcotics and vice officer, told the court.

“We followed Alan Ahn with Tiffany Masunaga around town and we observed drug transactions,” Jhun said.

Meanwhile, Sellers and the criminal investigation division were doing the same until they witnessed what they believed was a drug transaction outside Masunaga’s home in August 2015.

Police stopped the man and found cocaine in the paper bag, then persuaded him to cooperate in the investigation, Jhun and Sellers said.

Sellers said he told Kealoha that it would be good to have a prosecutor come to the scene to offer the driver immunity. “I did not think it was going to be her,” Sellers told the jury.

Jhun testified that he was also struck by Kealoha’s presence at the scene when she arrived.

The cooperating witness got in the backseat of a vehicle with Kealoha. Sellers was in the driver’s seat but said he got out after a few minutes, leaving Kealoha alone with the man.

Hours later, a SWAT team descended upon Masunaga’s home, where police found cocaine, prescription pills, and more than 100 fentanyl patches.

Kealoha then showed up to that scene as well, which Jhun told the jury he thought was odd.

The investigation stalled after the raid, according to Jhun. He testified that he then learned that Kealoha, Masunaga and Masunaga’s attorney, Myles Breiner, were holding meetings without HPD officers present.

“At some time, I was given a call by Katherine Kealoha who asked if I was busy,” Jhun said. “I said no, (and she said) ‘I have something to give you.”

Kealoha then met with Jhun and gave him what he recognized as a transcript from one of the meetings, and he noticed something odd at the end of the document.

“The transcript showed that Tiffany Masunaga and Kat Kealoha knew each other,” Jhun said, adding that he was instructed to stand down and stop working on the investigation a short time later.

Sellers, too, said his involvement in the case ended toward the end of 2015.

Masunaga would ultimately avoid conviction on numerous drug charges. Ahn pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and four years of probation….

(State courts at work covering everything up.  Then the feds stepped in….)

read … Honolulu Officers Detail Katherine Kealoha’s Role In Probe Of Her Brother

Kauai Council Meth Ring: Plead Guilty in Federal Court, Innocent in State Court

TGI: … An Oct. 29, 2019 wiretap picked up Sueyasu and the Brun speaking about the distribution of significant amounts of meth.

In one taping, Sueyasu mentioned that she could pay off $1,000 of a debt owed to Brun, who said:

“Let me know if you need more.”

The wiretap picked up two other conversations between the pair, discussing quantities and dollar values of meth.

Brun, who was at the time the vice-chair of the council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee helped fund the wiretap service that captured his conversations with Sueyasu.

Brun himself pled guilty to a spate of charges levied against him this November — but his plea deal was denied by a federal judge last month.

U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson deemed the 15-year sentence that Brun vetoed was too lenient. Brun and federal prosecutors now need to strike a harsher deal or the case will go to trial.  (This is federal court.)

Sueyasu is already facing separate charges related to meth distribution.

She was indicted in March 2019 for possession of about an ounce of meth, a charge to which she has pled not guilty. (This is state court, she may walk free.) That case is currently set for a jury trial on June 6 at the Fifth Circuit Court in Lihu‘e….

(Out of seven members of the Kauai Council, one was a meth dealer and another was a Russian dupe.)

read … Kauai Council Meth Ring

Thought Control: Legislature Votes to Obliterate All Memory of Captain Cook

BIVN: … The Hawaiʻi House of Representatives voted on Thursday to adopt a resolution, HCR27 HD1,  which requests “the United States Census Bureau to re-designate the census-designated place known as Captain Cook on the island of Hawaii as Ka‘awaloa.”

The resolution also requests Hawaiʻi County to remove all references to Captain Cook as a place name on the island of Hawaiʻi.

Kona’s State Representative Jeanne Kapela was one of the introducers of the measure. The resolution was transmitted to and received by the Hawaiʻi State Senate….

read … Thought Control

Developer Giveaway: Hawaii Senate Budget Proposal Waste $350M on Aloha Stadium Project

CB: … On Thursday, the Senate unveiled a draft of the state operating budget that would funnel $350 million to the stadium development. In the past, lawmakers contemplated funding the stadium with general obligation bonds, akin to a government loan….

Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz said providing stadium officials with cash instead of bonds would allow them easier access to money.

“It’ll allow them to move faster,” he said.

State Comptroller Curt Otaguro agreed. He said having cash available will also give the state greater flexibility in how the money can be spent.

He noted funding challenges in the past and questions that lingered for years over how exactly the state would finance the project.

“It went everywhere – upside down, inside out, backward, forward. How we going finance this thing?” Otaguro said….

Reality:

2021: Aloha Stadium Biggest public Land Giveaway Since PLDC

2022: Aloha Stadium: Sometimes you wonder where political leaders find numbers to fit the narrative

read … Wasted Money

No legislation after months of Auditor Attacks Disguised as Hawaii land management hearings

SA: … When the hearings began in mid-July they quickly pivoted into an investigation of Kondo himself, and his audits. The committee, led by House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti (D, Moiliili-­Makiki-Tantalus), repeatedly (insert rhetoric here) …

As the hearings dragged on, one of the eight committee members — Rep. Dale Kobayashi (D, Manoa-Punahou-Moiliili) — openly criticized what he called a disproportionate focus on Kondo, whose work Kobayashi said had been peer reviewed and highly rated.

On the eve of the current legislative session, the committee released its 292-page final report that found no criminal wrongdoing by Kondo but called for oversight of Kondo’s office by the Legislature through bills that have since died.

The report also recommended nearly 50 changes to the development corporation and 17 for DLNR.

But none of the land management recommendations survived in legislation that Kobayashi helped introduce.

read … Fake Hearings to Harass Auditor

Shakedown: Earthjustice Exploits Seabirds to Shake Down Resorts for Money

CB: …Jay Penniman, who manages Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project, is advocating for the creation of an islandwide seabird habitat conservation plan like Kauai has. …

(CLUE: The resorts and taxpayers will pay for this.)

read … Maui Resort, Earthjustice Look To Resolve Lawsuit Over Lights Injuring Seabirds

Legislative Agenda:

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