Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Attorney hoping Bush offers
second chance at federal judgeship

A prominent Honolulu attorney is among the nominees for federal judgeship by President Clinton dropped by President Bush yesterday.

James E. Duffy Jr., the one-time head of an influential Honolulu law firm, said he is hoping to be renominated by Bush for the seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"President Bush's formal action is not unexpected," Duffy said. "It is my understanding that I am still in the running for the nomination."

An official with the Bush administration offered similar sentiments. "Some of these individuals will be considered for positions in the Bush administration," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

Bush officially withdrew 62 executive and judicial nominations made by Clinton in his last days.

Among other nominees dumped was Roger Gregory, who became the first black judge on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals when Clinton appointed him temporarily.

Council panel to consider more Mansho discipline

The City Council's Policy Committee will look into what type of punishment should be handed out to Councilwoman Rene Mansho.

Policy Chairman Romy Cachola and his committee, which consists of all nine members of the Council, will begin that job at its next regularly scheduled meeting tomorrow, according to the office of Council Chairman Jon Yoshimura.

The city Ethics Commission last week voted to recommend that Mansho be fined $40,000 for having her staff work on campaign activities while on city time. The commission further recommended that the Council take additional "disciplinary measures," but did not say what should be done.

Family sues in death of man hit by cliff diver

The family of a California man who died after he was struck by a diver while swimming at Waimea Falls Park has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against park operators.

Attractions Hawaii, doing business as Waimea Valley Adventure Park and Maxwell Associates Inc., which employs divers, are named as defendants in the complaint filed yesterday in Circuit Court.

The suit said Dan Vu Nguyen was struck by a cliff diver perched 60 feet above him on March 26, 1999. Attractions Hawaii was negligent in allowing divers and swimmers the use of Waimea Falls pond at the same time, the complaint said.

Attractions Hawaii could not be reached for comment.

Maui gambling suspect apologizes for his role

The last Maui man to plead guilty to his role in an illegal gambling operation that operated out of a state Department of Accounting and General Services office told the court he has given up gambling.

Sunao "Suna" Takamiya, 72, apologized yesterday for his involvement and said unlike some of his codefendants, he hasn't engaged in illegal activity since his arrest in 1994.

U.S. District Judge Alan C. Kay sentenced the former president of Maui Beverage & Supply to four months imprisonment. He also ordered Takamiya to serve four months of home detention under electronic monitoring after he is released and to pay a $15,000 fine. Takamiya was the last of seven Maui men indicted in July 1999, who subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy and failure to pay a wagering tax.

Corrections and clarifications

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Publisher and Editor in Chief John Flanagan at 529-4748 or email him at

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Driver, motorcyclist seriously hurt
in separate Honolulu traffic accidents

Two people suffered serious injuries in separate traffic accidents yesterday.

At about 7:40 p.m. yesterday, a sport utility vehicle traveling east on School Street jumped a curb, broke through a chain-link fence and slid down a 63-foot embankment before landing upside down on the H-1 Freeway.

The driver, in his mid-30s, was taken to Queen's Medical Center in serious condition. The accident shut down two Ewa-bound lanes of the freeway for about an hour.

An earlier incident sent a 25-year-old motorcyclist to Queen's in critical condition after he crashed into the side of a car at Ala Moana Beach Park.

Police say the man was riding on Ala Moana Park Drive about 4 p.m. when he tried to pass several cars. He crashed into one of the cars as it made a U-turn. The man was wearing a helmet. No one in the car was injured.

Verizon employees charged in tee-time case

City prosecutors filed charges yesterday against a former employee and a current employee at Verizon Hawaii for allegedly using the company's computer to block out other calls while they made tee times at municipal golf courses.

The charges allege that both Harmon Lee and Lawrence Seu were involved in the scheme from March to August 2000.

Prosecutors have charged Lee and Seu with one count each of fraudulent use of a computer, a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Prosecutors confirm that a plea agreement has been reached in the case.

Verizon Hawaii spokeswoman Ann Nishida said both men have about 30 years of service with the company and were working the overnight shift as customer zone technicians during the time of the alleged crime.

One of the employees charged is no longer with Verizon while the other has been suspended. Nishida would not clarify the status of either defendant, citing confidentiality laws.

Sophisticated pipe bomb damages building

A homemade pipe bomb exploded about 3:15 p.m. yesterday in the bottom floor stairwell of the Harbor Villages building at 901 River Street.

Detective Michael Hall said he was concerned the construction of the bomb showed an unusual level of "sophistication."

Hall said the bomb was made out of explosive powder, cardboard and tape, and may have been detonated using a timer. Hall said there was no evidence of the more commonly used "hobby fuse" and was concerned that electrical wires leading in and out of the device were used to set the bomb off.

The explosion caused no injuries but did cause minor damage to the building.

Police blocked off the far right Ewa-bound lane of Nimitz highway while they completed their investigation. So far, detectives have no suspects in the case.

Blaze destroys Eden Roc home south of Hilo

HILO >> Keaau firefighters said a fire yesterday gutted a 900-square-foot home owned by Richard H. Gibson in rural Eden Roc subdivision, an area south of Hilo.

The fire happened at 10:32 a.m. and firefighters said the blaze was "fully involved" by the time they arrived.

Damage to the home and its contents is estimated at $90,000.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

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