Thursday, March 10, 2005

Firm fined for
illegal donations

Paren Inc. must pay $228,750 for
illicit gifts to seven candidates

The state Campaign Spending Commission unanimously approved the second-largest fine ever for illegal political contributions yesterday.

By a 5-0 vote the commission fined Paren Inc. $228,750 for making illegal donations to the campaigns of former Mayor Jeremy Harris, ex-Gov. Ben Cayetano, past Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana, former City Councilman Arnold Morgado and ex-Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono, former Mayor Frank Fasi and Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

The fine is second to a $303,000 fine in October 2003 against Michael Matsumoto, chief executive officer of SSFM International Inc.

Steven Hisaka, Paren's attorney, could not be reached for comment.

Paren Inc., better known as Park Engineering, and its top executives made 185 illegal political contributions totaling more than $230,000 through a network of nearly four dozen company employees, relatives and friends, the commission said.

People linked to the firm contributed more than $102,000 to the Harris campaign, $51,000 to the Cayetano campaign and $40,500 to Morgado's campaign, the commission alleged.

During the same period, Paren contributed $16,000 to Apana, $5,500 to Hirono and $1,800 to Fasi, according to the commission. Between 1997 and 2001 the Hannemann campaign received $13,100 from people connected to the firm, the commission said.

In a related matter, the commission voted 5-0 to approve a $4,500 fine against AES Design Inc. and its president, Dexter Yee, for making donations under false names to the Harris campaign.

Campaign Spending Commission

E-mail to City Desk


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