Tuesday, November 16, 2004

State seeks
donation records

Subpoenas demand information
from firms that supported Harris

The state Campaign Spending Commission is preparing to take action against several local engineering and architecture firms already under criminal investigation for alleged illegal donations to Jeremy Harris' campaign.

Bob Watada, the commission's executive director, said his office is issuing administrative subpoenas this week to Park Engineering, Lester H. Inouye & Associates Inc., Architects Pacific Inc. and Island Quality Hardward Supply Inc.

Watada said his office will issue additional subpoenas next week to R.M. Towill Corp. and other large city contractors.

"These companies are on notice that we are going to take action against them," Watada said.

Renee Yuen, an attorney for Lester Inouye and Architect Pacific President John Adversalo, had no comment. Steven Hisaka, a lawyer for Park Engineering, could not be reached. Greg Nishioka, an attorney for Island Quality President Rosario, also was not available.

The subpoenas come after Inouye and Park Engineering's former chief executive officer, Larry Matsuo, pleaded no contest earlier this year to misdemeanor charges of making excessive political donations and false-name contributions to the Harris campaign.

Rosario and Adversalo were indicted last year by an Oahu grand jury for making illegal contributions to the Harris campaign.

Those charges arose from the prosecutor's wide-ranging investigation into the Towill engineering firm. In June, Towill President Russell Figueiroa and Towill's former chairman Donald Kim, a former University of Hawaii regent, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of making illegal donations to the Harris campaign. Rosario's and Adversalo's cases are pending.

Watada said his office has received little cooperation from the companies while their criminal cases are pending.

In their subpoenas, the commission said it is seeking copies of bank statements, canceled checks and other corporate records.

The commission also has subpoenaed the prosecutor's office for records that they obtained in their criminal investigation into the firms.

Campaign Spending Commission


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