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Friday, May 26, 2023
DPP Supervisor Gets 60 Months in Prison for Bribery Scheme
By News Release @ 1:38 AM :: 2104 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics, Development

Department of Planning and Permitting Supervisor Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison for Bribery Scheme

News Release, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Hawaii, Wednesday, May 24, 2023

HONOLULU – Wayne Inouye, 66, of Honolulu, was sentenced today in federal court by United States District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi to 60 months imprisonment, two years supervised release, and a $100,000 fine for taking more than $103,000 in bribes in exchange for expediting the approval of permits issued by the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) of the City and County of Honolulu and for making false statements to federal investigators with intent to conceal his crimes.

After a lengthy investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into corruption at the DPP, honest services wire fraud charges were filed against six individuals, including Inouye, arising out of schemes in which employees of the DPP took bribes in exchange for performing official acts at DPP. The other five defendants have also entered guilty pleas:

  • Jennie Javonillo, 73, of Waipahu, a former Building Plans Examiner at DPP, was sentenced on June 27, 2022, to 30 months imprisonment, two years supervised release, a $5,000 fine, and forfeiture of $58,000, in bribes in Cr. No. 21-00038 DKW;
  • Jason Dadez, 45, of Honolulu, a former Building Inspector at DPP, was sentenced on July 6, 2022, to 18 months imprisonment, two years supervised release, and forfeiture of $12,900 in bribes, in Cr. No. 21-00037 DKW;
  • Jocelyn Godoy, 60, of Pearl City, an employee of the Data Access and Imaging Branch at DPP, pled guilty to one count on May 17, 2023, and is scheduled for sentencing on August 30, 2023, in Cr. No. 21-00036 DKW;
  • Kanani Padeken, 38, of Kaaawa, a former Building Plans Examiner at DPP, pled guilty to one count on April 7, 2021, and is scheduled for sentencing on August 22, 2023, in Cr. No. 21-00040 DKW; and
  • William Wong, 73, of Honolulu, an architect, pled guilty to one count on April 7, 2021, and is scheduled for sentencing on July 27, 2023, in Cr. No. 21-00041 DKW.

According to information presented to the court, while employed by DPP as the Chief Building Inspector with supervisory responsibility for approximately 20 employees, Inouye solicited bribes from architects, contractors, and others in exchange for expediting the approval of building permits by DPP. Those who paid bribes to Inouye had their permit applications sped through the DPP approval process ahead of other applications. From September 2016 to September 2017, Inouye solicited and accepted bribes of at least $89,205 from Wong. From February 2012 to August 2017, Inouye solicited and accepted bribes of at least $3,425 from a signage contractor. From April 2012 to January 2016, Inouye solicited and accepted bribes of at least $9,685 from a building contractor. From February 2012 to December 2017, Inouye solicited and accepted bribes of at least $1,825 from a second signage contractor.

Other information provided to the court relates that during an interview with an Assistant United States Attorney and an FBI agent on July 11, 2019, Inouye falsely stated that the payments from Wong were a loan. Inouye claimed that he had borrowed approximately $100,000 from Wong for a real estate auction and repaid him with interest. In fact, as Inouye admitted during his guilty plea, the payments from Wong were bribes. In an effort to conceal his bribery scheme, Inouye repaid Wong in October 2017 after learning that the FBI was investigating corruption at DPP.

“The integrity of all government employees is diminished by the criminal acts of those who compromise their positions for personal gain,” said United States Attorney Clare E. Connors. “The Court’s sentence reflects the damage done to the public’s trust and the need to deter such conduct from happening in the future. A top priority of our office remains ferreting out public corruption and holding all involved in such crimes accountable.”

"The public deserves ethical and transparent officials and institutions" said Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill. “The FBI continues to vigorously pursue criminals who attempt to violate the public's trust."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that resulted in the convictions. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Nammar and Craig Nolan prosecuted the case.

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