Rodrigues and daughter await ruling
What ever happened to Gary Rodrigues and his daughter, who were convicted of multiple criminal charges? I know they were free on bail, but I haven't heard anything about them recently.
Answer: Gary Rodrigues, the former state director of the United Public Workers, and his daughter, Robin Sabatini, remain free on bail while the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals continues to consider their appeals.
Attorneys for the prosecution and defense argued their cases before the San Francisco-based court last August.
A written decision is expected "fairly soon," and "we're optimistic," Honolulu attorney Eric Seitz, who is representing Rodrigues in other civil matters, said Friday.
If the court does not uphold the convictions, there are several other possible outcomes.
The judges could send the case "back for a retrial on certain issues," Seitz said, or "dismiss the charges because there was a significant question of whether there was federal jurisdiction -- whether or not (the charges) constituted federal offenses."
But, at this point "we don't know what they're going to do," he acknowledged.
Among other charges, Rodrigues was convicted of mail fraud, money laundering and embezzlement in federal court in November 2002; his daughter was convicted of mail fraud and money laundering.
Rodrigues was sentenced in October 2003 to five years, four months in prison and three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $378,000 in restitution. Sabatini was ordered to serve three years, 10 months in prison, with three years of supervised release, and to pay $377,000.
Q: I recently was issued a parking placard for the disabled in Kailua-Kona. Is it valid on all islands? Is it valid in other states? If one must park in a metered stall, are those spaces free to the disabled? Are they free in other states?
A: The placard is valid on all islands and in other states.
In Hawaii, state law allows people with disabled-parking placards to park free in metered stalls for up to 2 1/2 hours or the maximum time allowed in a lot, whichever is longer, said Francine Wai, executive director of the state Disability and Communication Access Board.
It is up to each jurisdiction to determine whether you have to feed the meter; the privilege can vary county to county. There is "no hard and fast rule" covering this, Wai said.
She also said there is no national source of information on this matter.
You would have to write to the equivalent of Wai's office in other states to find out what the disabled-parking placard allows. You can find the names of those offices by going to the Web site www.nagcpd.com/index.html.
For more information, call 586-8121, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or check the Web site www.hawaii.gov/healthdcab.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
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