Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Isle resident completes
theft plea restitution

By Anthony Sommer

LIHUE >> Gary Baldwin, a prominent Kauai resident, has complied with a plea bargain for a 1986 theft involving the sale of a Learjet to a Phoenix doctor.

Baldwin fulfilled the requirement of paying $260,000 in restitution to Dr. David Dulaney, an eye surgeon, and Baldwin's no contest plea to felony theft in January was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Baldwin, 56, received a year's probation, which he will serve on Kauai, after which the case officially will disappear from court records, Bill FitzGerald, spokesman for the Maricopa County, Ariz., County Attorney's Office said yesterday.

For almost a decade, Baldwin headed the Kauai Economic Development Board, which has attracted numerous high-tech businesses to Kauai.

He was Kauai's first representative on the Hawaii Tourism Authority and twice chairman of the Kauai Planning Commission. He also was, and remains, a close political ally of U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye. In 1997, a Kauai magazine named Baldwin one of the two most politically powerful residents of Kauai.

Baldwin was arrested in July 2002 at his north shore Kauai home by FBI agents armed with a fugitive warrant. Freed on $270,000 bail, he eventually was turned over to Arizona authorities.

A Maricopa County grand jury indicted Baldwin in 1986 on three counts of theft and one count of fraud for stealing $330,000 from Dulaney in 1984 in a series of unauthorized wire transfers from Dulaney's bank account.

Baldwin was working both as Dulaney's financial manager in Phoenix and as the owner of an executive jet-leasing service in Boulder, Colo. The money was supposed to have gone toward the purchase of a Learjet by Dulaney, but much of it went into bank accounts controlled by Baldwin, a Maricopa County Sheriff's Department investigation showed.

Baldwin disappeared from Boulder in 1985. Colorado police investigating a missing person complaint found him in Hawaii and notified Maricopa County authorities but, even after the grand jury indictment in 1986, no effort was made to arrest Baldwin until last year. Because the indictment was sealed, Baldwin never was aware he had been charged with a crime.

Baldwin retired from the Kauai Economic Development Board in November. He is now working as a consultant for the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, a federation of the economic development boards of the state's four counties.

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