Thursday, July 24, 2003

New charges filed in
Harris campaign probe

The investigation targets the
president of a surveying firm

City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle has filed criminal charges against the head of a local land surveying company for making allegedly illegal campaign contributions to Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris' campaign.

In a complaint docketed in state District Court, prosecutors said Alden Kajioka, president of Controlpoint Surveying Inc., made excessive political contributions and made campaign donations under false names.

The charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,000.

Kajioka declined comment yesterday, saying he has not been served with the complaint. Prosecutors also had no response.

Kajioka becomes the second top executive of a local contracting firm to face criminal charges by the prosecutor's office in its 18-month investigation of the Harris campaign.

Last week, a state judge sentenced the head of one of the isles' largest engineering firms, Michael Matsumoto, of SSFM International Inc., to 300 hours of community service after he pleaded no contest to similar charges.

In January, Kajioka's firm agreed to pay a $48,000 fine to the state Campaign Spending Commission for making more than $60,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Harris and other prominent isle Democrats.

The fine is the fourth largest levied by the commission behind a $64,000 penalty against the engineering firm of Geolabs Inc. in January 2002, a $53,500 fine against Wesley Segawa & Associates Inc. this month and a $53,000 fine against Edward K. Noda & Associates in March.

A commission investigation found that Controlpoint and its executives funneled more than $27,000 to the Harris campaign through relatives and friends from 1996 to 2002.

During that same period, the firm gave $20,000 to Gov. Ben Cayetano's campaign and more than $12,000 to former Oahu mayoral candidate Mufi Hannemann.

Under state law an individual or business can give no more than $4,000 to a mayoral candidate during a four-year election cycle. Donors also are barred from giving money under false names.

The criminal complaint against Kajioka comes as Honolulu police have arrested about a dozen engineering and architecture executives during the past several months on suspicion of similar charges as part of the Harris investigation.

The Campaign Spending Commission's two-year civil investigation into the Harris campaign and its donors has netted fines totaling more than $400,000 from more than 60 city and state contractors.


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