David C. Farmer, Successor-Trustee vs. Harmon
(Formerly Woo vs. Harmon & Nicholson vs. Harmon)
CV05-00030 DAE KSC
U.S. District Court For the District of Hawaii
Judges: David A. Ezra; Kevin S. Chang
Former mayor, City & County of Honolulu.
Address to be determined.
NEW DISCOVERY (07-01-10):
SCANDAL ISLAND: MAYOR JEREMY HARRIS
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NEW DISCOVERY (11-30-08):
THE BEST GOVERNMENT MONEY CAN BUY
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NEW DISCOVERY (06-29-08):
May 14, 2004
Hawaii Reporter, by Malia Zimmerman
Hawaii Campaign Contribution Violators Show State is a Bastion
of Corruption – More than 1,000 Violators Caught
To the great dismay of Democrats in the Senate, Sen. Les Ihara, D-Kapahulu, unveiled on the Senate floor with the help of Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai, a 46-foot scroll listing the names of many of the recently-documented violators of state campaign spending law. All are Democrats.
Ihara, a Democrat who advocates for openness and honesty in government and in his own party, says in the last few years, over 1,000 illegal campaign donations have been found, with violators documented and fined by the Campaign Spending Commission.
These illegal donations involve over 450 individuals who contributed $1.9 million dollars. Over half the donations given to the winning candidate in the 2000 Honolulu mayor's race were illegal.
Thirty-two of the worst violators shown on the scroll have been charged criminally, some involving hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal campaign donations. So far, all defendants have pleaded no contest or guilty and, with half the cases completed, judges have allowed all defendants' records to be wiped clean in a few years.
Ihara and many others who want honesty in the campaign finance system are frustrated that these violations don't seem to have convinced Hawaii's public leaders that there is a full-blown campaign corruption scandal in Hawaii. So far lawmakers have resisted passing any meaningful legislation to stop the cycle of what is known as "pay to play" or political contributions exchanged for favoritism in government contracts, permitting or zoning.
In a recent speech on the Senate floor, Ihara criticize SB 459 on campaign reform, which he says does not qualify as "reform" because only minor changes were made. "I supported the bill only because it increased the criminal penalties for most campaign violations," he says.
Ex-Beauty Queen in Harris Scandal Owes Government Big Bucks
– Scandal Details Still Mysterious
Hawaii Reporter public records and tracking system shows there is a federal tax lien recently filed against Lisa Katherine K. Otsuka, the ex-Maui beauty queen now under scrutiny by law enforcement, for three consecutive years: In 1999 for $1,137.12; in 2000 for $125,124.71; and in 2001 for $155,283.38.
Otsuka, who won the 1987 Miss Maui beauty queen title until pageant officials learned she faked her academic record at Maui’s Baldwin high school, came into the media spotlight last year in connection with the investigation of the campaign and administration of Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris.
A witness and a possible suspect in the investigation, Otsuka reportedly was funneled more than $90,000 from Harry Mattson and his company, Campaign Services, who received the money from Harris’ campaign -- money Otsuka never reported receiving.
Mattson, a loyal strategist and political poller for some of Hawaii's most powerful Democrat politicians including former Gov. John Waihee, Honolulu Councilmember Duke Bainum, 2002 Candidate for Governor Andy Anderson and Harris, was hired by the Harris campaign for "services rendered," according to public state campaign spending records. Sources close to the Harris investigation believe this money and possibly more than $300,000 was funneled from Harris’ campaign to Mattson to Otsuka.
What Otsuka received the money for is not yet clear, though she was arrested three times in 2002, including once on the charge of promoting prostitution. Otsuka also has served as a "hostess" for the Democrat party conventions, according to Hawaii Democrats who remember seeing her there.
Other Otsuka arrests were for theft, including once for allegedly stealing $3,000 on April 1, 2001, from a non-profit Tahitian culture and dance group -– Manutahi -- that helps at-risk kids.
Otsuka has continuously denied any wrongdoing or connection to Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris or his wife Ramona, and has told the media she is "shocked by everything."
The mayor denies even knowing Otsuka and the mayor's lawyer says tying the mayor to Otsuka is part of a "smear campaign."
Otsuka has had a number of financial and other troubles in recent years:
Aug. 15, 2002, she was arrested on a charge of promoting prostitution and posted $10,000 bail. If convicted, she could serve up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Sept. 9, 2002, she was arrested for failing to appear at an investigative grand jury hearing on the Harris case and posted $10,000 bail.
Besides criminal problems, Otsuka faced a series of civil lawsuits. In November 2001, Otsuka moved into a rental unit at 2422 Hopena Way in Honolulu with her mother, Patricia Kushi, sporadically paying rent, which led to her eviction and a lawsuit filed against them in Honolulu District Court for back rent and an odd collection of damages to the home.
Without paying the claim issued against her by the court, Otsuka moved into another home in Ewa in May 2002, with her business partner Earl Huang, owner of Allied General Contracting and Engineer Brokers and president of Drivers Foundation. But that didn't last long. Just weeks later, June 5, 2002, the management firm for the property filed a claim against Otsuka and Huang in Honolulu District Court for non-payment of rent. Otsuka did not appear at her hearing scheduled Sept. 13, and instead sent a nervous Huang to tell the judge she was ill.
Earlier court records from 1994 in a separate case show a New York judge awarded $19,000 to creditor Hinman Co. after it sued Otsuka for an unpaid promissory note, an award the company was unable to collect.
Inmate Transfers Will Eliminate Overcrowding, State Says
The State of Hawaii transferred its first 150 inmates earlier this week from the Florence Correctional Center in Arizona to the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Mississippi, under a new agreement with the Corrections Corporation of America designed to save costs and relieve overcrowding.
This new agreement will result in a major reduction in costs of over a million dollars a year, says Department of Public Safety Director John Peyton. The state also send maximum custody inmates to the Mainland, not allowed under the old agreement. "That will help to reduce overcrowding at the Halawa Correctional Facility," says Peyton. "When the transition is complete we expect to have over 600 inmates in Mississippi by the year 2005, Peyton added.
Hawaii pays approximately $52 per day per inmate at contracted facilities in Arizona and Oklahoma. Under the terms of a new contract signed last week, the cost to house inmates in Mississippi is approximately $43 dollars per inmate per day. The cost reduction will not result in a reduction of inmate services, he says.
The Legislature provided additional moneys this session to increase the amount of beds in contracted Mainland facilities from 1,300 to 1,500 beds.
Opponents to the concept of prisoners being transferred from their home state say prisoners will have no support system if they leave their families in Hawaii
Governor Goes to Israel With Hawaii Delegation
Gov. Linda Lingle, the first Jewish governor in Hawaii and only one of two Jewish governors in the nation, left for a trip to Israel this week, leading a delegation of 27.
Lingle, who was invited by Israel’s political leaders, is being hosted along with Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona’s wife, Vivian Aiona, and senior communications adviser Lenny Klompus. All other delegates on the trip have paid their own way, along with House Rep. Mark Moses, R-Kapolei. They will return May 22.
Lingle called Israel "America's strongest ally in the Middle East," and says she will meet with President Moshe Katsav and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, among other political leaders as a part of Israel's effort to build support.
Hawaii's American Idol Makes National News, Along With
KSSK's Michael W. Perry and Lt. Governor
Hawaii’s Own American Idol, Maryknoll High School senior Jasmine Trias, is making national news today, including reports on ABC News and in USA Today.
The USA Today article entitled "It's aloha to La Toya on 'Idol'" by reporter Bill Keveney, quotes KSSK Morning Radio Personality Michael W. Perry who explains Hawaii’s enthusiasm for Trias and the "aloha spirit." Complementing the report is a photo of Trias getting a proclamation presented to her by Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona yesterday at a ceremony in his office.
See the full report at: http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2004-05-13-idol-politics_x.htm
Trias, who is Asian-American, was thrown into the midst of a controversy when one of the three judges essentially blamed ethnicity for the bouncing of La Toya London, who is African American, while Trias and two others remained on the show....
Popular Cast Shines in Rendition of Camelot at
Fort Shafter's Richardson Theatre
KHON TV's Tina Shelton showed last night she can not only report the news, she can sing and act too, as she starred as "Guenevere" in a wonderful family-appropriate rendition of Camelot at Fort Shafter’s Richardson Theatre.
Her co-stars included Bryan Bender, who played the kind but indecisive "King Arthur," and Matthew Pennaz, who acted as the alluring "Lancelot."
Those who frequent the state Capitol may know Pennaz, a University of Hawaii Graduate Student of Economics, who also is an intern for Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai.
Starring as a genuine bad guy in the role of "Mordred" was Dion Donahue, Hawaii television and stage star.
David Farmer, who formerly headed the state’s arts department, was super in the role of "Merlin" the magician.
The Hawaii Reporter
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NEW DISCOVERY (03/26/08): David Farmer has undisclosed relationships with Gov. Ben Cayetano, Jeremy Harris, David Carey, Jack Lord, and James MacArthur:
October 31, 2000
By Dave Donnelly
Cash and Carey
IT took the persuasiveness of the Society of Seven to get a ballroom full of people (including Gov. Ben Cayetano and Mayor Jeremy Harris and their wives) onto the dance floor to gyrate to the Village People's "Y.M.C.A." The scene was the Governor's Ball, the annual March of Dimes recognition for community contributions, which this year went to Outrigger Hotels' CEO David Carey. The governor and Ann Eleanor Roosevelt, granddaughter of FDR, presented the award....
LOCAL attorney David Farmer appeared in a couple of "Hawaii Five-O" shows here in the '70s, but never mentioned to either Jack Lord or James MacArthur that his aunt was the famous actress Frances Farmer. The reason was simple: Aunt Frannie appeared in a Playhouse 90 episode with Lord in 1957 and that same year did an Armstrong Circle Theater episode in which she played MacArthur's mother. Given her reputation for outspoken negativity toward men playing opposite her, lawyer Farmer didn't want to take the chance she'd blasted either of them ...
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“I’ll protect you, Jeremy”
Political cartoon by John Pritchett
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June 26, 2003
An investigation nets
the vice president of
a large city consultant
By Rick Daysog, Star-Bulletin
Honolulu police arrested an executive with one of the state's largest engineering firms yesterday morning as part of city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle's criminal investigation into Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris' political campaign.
Roy Tsutsui, a vice president at R.M. Towill Corp., appeared at HPD headquarters where he was booked on suspicion of money laundering, making a political contribution under a false name and illegally owning a business.
Tsutsui, 52, also was booked on suspicion of attempting to create an illegal monopoly, indicating that prosecutors may be looking beyond alleged campaign spending violations and examining how R.M. Towill obtained lucrative nonbid city contracts.
Tsutsui, who was not charged, was released pending investigation.
Tsutsui could not be reached for comment, and an attorney for R.M. Towill did not return calls. The prosecutor's office had no comment.
City officials and attorneys for the Harris campaign have denied any connection between political donations and the awards of city contracts.
Tsutsui's arrest is the latest in Carlisle's 18-month criminal investigation into the Harris campaign.
Earlier this month, local attorney Ed Chun surrendered to authorities after an Oahu grand jury indicted him for allegedly orchestrating $9,000 in illegal campaign contributions to the Harris campaign. Chun pleaded not guilty.
That arrest came after Michael Matsumoto, chief executive of the local engineering firm SSFM International Inc., pleaded no contest in January to laundering $139,500 to the Harris campaign.
Last July, Honolulu police arrested Mike Amii, a top city official and longtime Democratic Party organizer, for allegedly conducting campaign work on city time. He has not been charged.
City prosecutors and the HPD have been investigating R.M. Towill since February, when they issued a subpoena seeking hundreds of pages of company records for the 1996-2002 period. The request included documents relating to city contracts, political contributions, payments to subcontractors and gifts to city officials.
Founded in 1930, R.M. Towill is one of the city's largest outside consultants. The company has received about $17 million in nonbid city contracts since 1996, including $2.9 million to manage the $300 million expansion of the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.
A computer-assisted study by the Star-Bulletin found that R.M. Towill employees and their relatives made more than $42,000 in campaign contributions to the Harris campaign during the past 10 years.
The company also donated $25,000 in 1999 to the Environmental Foundation, a nonprofit group that helps organize the biennial Mayor's Asia-Pacific Environmental Summit.
Under state law a donor can give no more than $4,000 to a mayoral candidate during a four-year election cycle. Donors also are barred from making political donations under false names.
The R.M. Towill firm figured in another major scandal that rocked Honolulu Hale during the tenure of then-Mayor Frank Fasi. In the aftermath of the Kukui Plaza development controversy, a federal grand jury indicted the engineering company's former head Richard Towill in 1975 for allegedly filing a false corporate tax return.
The federal indictment, based on an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, charged that Towill awarded $13,850 in bonuses in 1969 to employees who were required to make political contributions with that money to Fasi and other local politicians.
A federal grand jury found Towill not guilty in 1979.
In 1977 a separate Oahu grand jury indicted Towill along with Fasi and former Fasi campaign treasurer Harry C.C. Chung on related charges, but the state later dropped the case.
R.M. Towill Corp.
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October 31, 2000
VIA Fax @ (202) 514-7021
Mr. Cliff Rones, Esq.
U. S. Department of Justice
Criminal Division, Fraud Section
P. O. Box 28188, McPherson Station
Washington, DC 20038
RE: Report of Fraud and Racketeering:
— P&C Insurance Company, Inc.
— Federal Insurance Company (Chubb Group)
— Marsh & McLennan, Inc.
— PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP
— State of Hawaii, Insurance Division
Dear Mr. Rones:
I realize this is a quick follow-up to my letter of October 27, 2000, but an article in today’s Honolulu Star-Bulletin may help explain why the State of Hawaii, and especially the insurance commissioner, took no action on my complaints of fraud and racketeering regarding the subject insurance companies.
Under the front page headline of “Former trustees funneled donations to lawmakers,” reporter Rick Daysog writes:
Former trustees of the Kamehameha Schools operated an underground political network that funneled money to the campaigns of dozens of key Hawaii lawmakers, according to trust documents obtained by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Between 1992 and 1997, the $6-billion estate’s now-defunct government relations department orchestrated contributions to incumbent Democrats friendly to the trust’s interests or to high-ranking politicians with regulatory control over the trust’s massive land and business holdings.
Those on the receiving end of estate contributions included U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris and former Mayor Frank Fasi’s Best Party. . . .
The state Campaign Spending Commission is looking into whether the trust illegally laundered contributions through former trustees, employees, relatives and outside contractors....
The list of recipients for that election year reads like a Who’s Who of island politics. They include:
. . . Former state Sen. Rey Graulty: On March 22, 1994, Wong bought $250 worth of tickets for a Graulty fund-raiser ... The check was delivered by a staffer. Graulty, now a state Circuit judge, could not be reached for response.
What the article does not say is that after Senator Graulty was defeated in his bid for re-election, he was appointed by Governor Ben Cayetano (D) as Hawaii’s Insurance Commissioner to replace Wayne Metcalf who was appointed to complete the term of another senator who passed away. Graulty was later appointed as a state judge, and Metcalf was re-appointed as the state insurance commissioner.
My complaint letters to both of these regulators received little or no response. To my knowledge, no disciplinary action was taken against any of these companies, and they have been allowed to continue the fraud and theft activities under the current interim-trustees and several top executives who served under the ex-trustees.
The Star-Bulletin article goes on to state:
. . . The ex-trustees deny that they took part in an organized effort to finance the campaigns of isle politicians. They say their political contributions and those of staffers and outside vendors were personal in nature and have nothing to do with trust business. . . .
However, in sworn testimony, some staffers say they not only helped organize the campaign contributions but also used trust facilities to direct the money to local politicians. . . .
I am one of the former staffers who testified under oath during the Attorney General’s investigation of the estate, about how staff were encouraged to assist certain politicians, including ex-trustee Henry Peters, Milton Holt and Robert Herkes.
The full Star-Bulletin articles can be retrieved from the internet at the following addresses:
More details regarding my RICO lawsuit, and copies of my letters to the Hawaii and California insurance departments can be found at the following address:
My mailing address and telephone number appear above if I can provide further information, or I can be reached by e-mail at:
In our initial conversation, you indicated that you would probably be contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation for further action. If this is still the case, then I would appreciate your relaying this information to the proper party.
Again, thank you very much for your assistance.
Very truly yours,
Bobby N. Harmon
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Jeremy Harris is expected to testify regarding his relationships with Dalton Tanonaka; Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate; Dennis Tsuhako; PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Diane Plotts; William McCorriston; Mark Bennett; Milton Holt; Honolulu Country Club; Plaza Club; Oahu Country Club; Kaneohe Yacht Club; Waikiki Yacht Club; World Health Organization (WHO); Dee Jay Mailer; Namlyn Snow; Richard Wong; Henry Peters; Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center; Michael Kahapea; APCOA Parking; Investcorp; SSFM International; Edward K. Noda; James “Kimo” Apana; Wesley Segawa; Honolulu Housing & Community Development Corp.; Nancy Matsuno; R.M. Towill Corp.; Roy Tsutsui; Frank Fasi; Mazie Hirano; Dennis Mitsunaga; Sam Kyu Hyun, W.A. Hirai & Associates; Dan Inouye; Benjamin Cayetano; Linda Lingle; Michael Matsumoto; Edward Y.C. Chun; Food Pantry; GYA Associates; Sandwich Isles Communications; Summit Communications; Robert K.U. Kihune; Gil Tam; Harold Johnston; James Duca; Marsh & McLennan; Jeffrey Case; Aon Insurance Managers; Rey Graulty: Sukamto Sia; Guido Giacometti; Jeffrey Stone; Kevin Showe; Michael Tanoue; Colbert Matsumoto, Island Insurance; Paul Alston, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing; Kirk Belsby, Kamehameha Schools; Stanford S. Carr, Stanford Carr Development Corp.; David Louie, Roeca, Louie & Hiraoka; Cades Schutte; Roger Wall, Foodland Super Market, Ltd., Sherry Broder; Jon Van Dyke, Robert Watada, James B. Nicholson, Arnold Morgado, Michael Chun, Peter Carlisle, David C. Farmer, Ron Rewald, and others to be named upon discovery.
Originally posted: August 17, 2005
Last updated: July 2, 2010