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Federal Indictment Alleges Bribery Scheme by Honolulu Planning Dept. Employees

The US District Court for the District of Hawaiʻi unsealed charges this week against six individuals, including current and former Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting employees, alleging their involvement in a bribery scheme.

The Justice Department alleges that “employees of the Department of Planning and Permitting of the City and County of Honolulu took bribes in exchange for performing official acts at DPP.” 

A city spokesperson tells Maui Now that the allegations include three current and two retired DPP employees as well as an individual who is an architect and not employed with the county.

“Based on the federal indictments unsealed on March 30, 2021, the Department of Planning has placed three current employees on immediate leave with pay, pending the outcome of their individual cases,” said Tim Sakahara, Communications Director with the city.

“The department is disappointed by the events and we certainly do not condone the activities alleged in the indictments. These alleged activities should not reflect on the more than 200 dedicated DPP employees who work hard every day to ensure the health and safety of the citizens of Honolulu. We will decline further comment because of the ongoing investigation,” said Sakahara in an email communication with Maui Now.

According to the Department of Justice, individuals named with indictments in the case include:

  • Wayne Inouye, 64, of Honolulu, a former Building Plans Examiner at DPP
  • Jocelyn Godoy, 58, of Pearl City, an employee of the Data Access and Imaging Branch at DPP
  • Jason Dadez, 42, of Honolulu, a Building Inspector at DPP
  • Jennie Javonillo, 71, of Waipahu, a former Building Plans Examiner at DPP

The Indictment against Inouye also charges him with one count of making a false material statement to the government.

The Justice Department reports that the following individuals were also charged in connection with the case:

  • Kanani Padeken, 36, of Kaʻaʻawa, a Building Plans Examiner at DPP
  • William Wong, 71, of Honolulu, an architect

Acting US Attorney Judith A. Philips said, “This Office is committed to prosecuting those who betray the public trust for personal gain with all available resources.” 

“Our citizens entrust their government with great authority and power. It is our responsibility to the communities we serve to represent them ethically andtransparently,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge EliS. Miranda. “The FBI will bring all its resources to bear and vigorously pursuecriminals who attempt to defraud the American people and our institutions.” 

The Justice Department notes that the charges are merely allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Michael Nammar and Craig S.Nolan.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/04/02/federal-indictment-alleges-bribery-scheme-by-honolulu-planning-dept-employees/

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