Friday, July 29, 2005

Ex-engineer fined $2,000
for campaign violation

A retired engineer has been fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of making an illegal campaign contribution.

Edwin Maruyama, 67, entered his plea yesterday to making a contribution in excess of the $4,000 limit between April 1999 and September 2000 to the campaign of former Mayor Jeremy Harris.

District Judge Lono Lee accepted Maruyama's plea and granted a deferral for a period of one year, after which time Maruyama can request that his case be dismissed. He also ordered Maruyama to pay a $2,000 fine.

Defense attorney Dale Lee said Maruyama, formerly an engineer with Fujita & Associates, got "caught up in this unfortunate period of our history in Hawaii" but takes responsibility and accepts the fine.

He argued that Maruyama is eligible for a deferral because he is not likely to engage in criminal conduct again and had no criminal record of any kind "other than this black eye."

Deputy prosecutor Chris Van Marter asked for probation and the maximum $2,000 fine. He objected to a deferral, arguing that a sentence of probation would more adequately reflect the seriousness of the crime. He did not seek jail for Maruyama, who has no prior criminal history.

Under a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a second misdemeanor count of making a contribution under a false name in return for Maruyama's guilty plea for the illegal contribution.

Judge Lee said he would normally impose substantial community service but declined because of Maruyama's condition. Maruyama appeared in court yesterday in a wheelchair, his right leg amputated below the knee.

Campaign Spending Commission

E-mail to City Desk


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