Thursday, May 23, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Lyon Bribes: Caldwell Appoints Crook to Zoning Board After Receiving $16.5K
By Andrew Walden @ 9:26 PM :: 10425 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics, Development, Land Use

by Andrew Walden

Corrupt contractor and federal felon Frank James Lyon waited to the very last minute to relinquish his position on Caldwell’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).  That’s the word from Caldwell Administration spokesman Andrew Pereira who tells Hawai’i Free Press, “Mr. Lyon informed the rest of the Zoning Board of Appeals that he would be resigning in an email dated January 18.”

That’s two days after charges were filed and four days before Lyon formally pled guilty to bribing officials to obtain Hawaii State and Federated States of Micronesia contracts.  It is also ten months after Lyon’s company, Lyon Associates, dissolved itself and then quickly revoked its dissolution, according to DCCA BREG

After receiving $11,000 in campaign contributions from the Lyon and another $5,500 in contributions from his father, Lyon Associates co-owner Frank E Lyon Jr, Caldwell appointed the criminal Lyon to the juicy position July 30, 2014 for a term ending June 30, 2019.  Frank James Lyon gave Caldwell an additional $1,500 after obtaining his ZBA appointment.

According to the City Department of Planning and Permitting website, “The Zoning Board of Appeals hears and determines appeals from actions of the Director of the Department of Planning and Permitting (Director) in the administration and enforcement of zoning, shoreline, subdivision ordinances and regulations.” 

That could total billions of dollars of land valuations made or lost by ZBA decisions. 

Even if no cash bribe was paid directly, Lyon’s position on ZBA could provide an incentive for developers to hire Lyon Associates as a sub-contactor to put the ZBA vote on retainer.  Honolulu Ethics rules require Board members with a conflict of interest to recuse themselves. 

According to the Honolulu Annual Report for FY2016: “The ZBA is authorized by Section 6-1517 of the Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu 1973 (2000 Edition). The ZBA is governed by the provisions of Section 13-103 of the Revised Charter. The ZBA hears and determines appeals to actions by the Director relating to the zoning and subdivision ordinances, and any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. The powers and duties of the ZBA are to hold contested case hearings in conformity with the applicable provisions of Sections 91-9, 91-10, and 91-11, HRS. It shall sustain an appeal only if the ZBA finds that the Director’s action was based on an erroneous finding of a material fact, or that the Director had acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner, or had manifestly abused discretion.”

Did Lyon’s Board ever reverse a DPP decision?  The City’s annual “Department and Agency Reports,” once provided annual statistics on the results of ZBA appeals.  The stats inexplicably stop appearing in reports after the end of FY2015 – the year Lyon joined ZBA.

Honolulu zoning decisions do not seem to be a focus of the federal investigation.  Frank James Lyon Conditions of Release, Jan 23, 2019, reads:  “The defendant is required to submit to USPTS an accurate and complete list of all business he is currently affiliated/involved with that involve federal contacts.”

AP reports: “Lyon faces up to five years in prison. He’s scheduled for sentencing on May 13.”

The elder Frank E Lyon Jr died in December, 2017 at age 89.

Recipients of Lyon Associates state/local campaign contributions include:  

  • $21,500 -- Neil Abercrombie
  • $1,000 – Alan Arakawa
  • $4,000 -- Robert Bunda
  • $18,000 – Kirk Caldwell
  • $30,000 -- Mufi Hannemann
  • $250 -- Colleen Hanabusa

The father and son Lyon federal campaign contributions went to:

  • $900 -- Stanley Chang
  • $250 – Doug Chin
  • $1,300 -- Tulsi Gabbard
  • $7,500 – Mufi Hannemann
  • $8,550 -- Mazie Hirono
  • $2,000 – Dan Inouye
  • $6,500 – Brian Schatz
  • $1,100 – Shaughnessy Naughton (PA 8 Dem Primary candidate)
  • $1,000 -- Hawaii Republican Party (2008-09)
  • $4,600 – Obama for America and Obama Victory Fund

---30---

PDF: Lyon Charges Jan 16, 2019

PDF: Lyon Guilty Plea Jan 22, 2019

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii