First DOE financial officer begins work
James Brese will take office Monday as the state Department of Education's first chief financial officer.
School Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto named the former director of fiscal services at Shriners Hospital for Children to the newly created position of assistant superintendent of the Office of Fiscal Services. The appointment was approved Thursday by the Board of Education.
The 2006 Legislature created the financial officer position to oversee administration of the department's $2.2 billion annual budget.
"His efforts will strengthen the DOE's administration and operations and improve the transparency of the department's budget and our public accountability," Hamamoto said in a news release.
Breese directed the hospital's financial administration since 2001. He was with Tesoro Hawaii Corp. for seven years as financial accounting manager and cash management supervisor.
He is a graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University and earned a master's degree in business administration from Chaminade University.
Owner salvages sunken snorkel boat
WAILUKU » The owner of the sunken 32-foot vessel Kai Anela salvaged the boat near Molokini Crater and had it towed to Kihei Boat Ramp yesterday.
The vessel sank in about 30 feet of water on Sept. 29, and 15 people were rescued by another vessel and the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard said it established a 100-yard safety zone around the vessel, but there has been no sighting of pollution or debris in the water.
The Kai Anela, a snorkeling vessel, is owned by the Maui Dive Shop.
The Coast Guard said the cause of the sinking was under investigation.
Police, Fire, Courts
Father and son recovering after Kauai crash
KILAUEA, Kauai » A California man and his 12-year-old son, who were injured two days ago in a near head-on collision on Kauai, were in fair condition yesterday at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, said Mary Daubert, Kauai County spokeswoman.
Frank Zamora, 39, of Riverside, Calif., suffered a broken leg in the crash, and his son, 12, underwent surgery that day. Also riding in Zamora's minivan were a woman, a niece and two children, who were treated and released.
The driver of the other car, Mark Serrato, 20, of Kapaa, was airlifted to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. His condition was unknown yesterday, Daubert said.
Annelle Perreira, 51, a Kauai resident in the car with Serrato, was in stable condition at Wilcox Memorial.
Kauai police said Serrato's station wagon crossed the center line on Kuhio Highway near Wailapa Road and struck the van as it veered to the shoulder to get out the way.
Stolen cars found on Dole property
Ten to 12 stolen vehicles were found by police on the Dole Pineapple Plantation property at about 10 yesterday morning in response to a call of suspicious circumstances concerning three individuals.
Sgt. Henry Holcombe said the cars had been stolen at different times and that most of them were completely stripped, with some appearing to have been placed there recently.
Police did not know whether the individuals who fled were involved with the vehicles.
Police seek suspect in Foodland robbery
Police are looking for a man who robbed a Foodland Super Market on Dillingham Boulevard on Thursday night.
They said he entered the supermarket at about 11:50 p.m. and demanded money from a cashier at knifepoint.
The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police are looking for the man on suspicion of first-degree robbery.
Moiliili man arrested in robbery and threat
Police arrested a 45-year-old Moiliili man who allegedly stole another man's wallet and then threatened him with a gun.
Police said the 39-year-old victim was sleeping in downtown Honolulu around 4:30 p.m. Thursday when the suspect forcibly pulled his wallet from his pants and fled.
The victim chased the suspect, who then pulled out a handgun and threatened the victim, police said.
They found the suspect a short time later at Nimitz Highway and Kekaulike Street and arrested him for investigation of first-degree robbery.
Cashier turns in customer in forgery
Police arrested a 30-year-old man who allegedly tried to pass counterfeit money Sunday night.
Police said the man went into an Iwilei store at about 10:55 p.m. and asked for change for a $100 bill.
The manager could tell the bill was fake from the color, police said. She marked the bill with a counterfeit detection pen to confirm her suspicion, and police were called and arrested the man for investigation of first- degree forgery.
Boyfriend arrested in domestic dispute
Police arrested a 23-year-old man who allegedly choked his girlfriend during a domestic dispute.
Police said the incident happened at about 7 p.m. Monday in Kaneohe. The girlfriend, 21, suffered pain, dizziness and loss of breath, police said.
They arrested the suspect yesterday for investigation of abuse of a family or household member, and served him with a temporary restraining order.
Honolulu man admits state tax fraud
A Honolulu man has admitted filing fraudulent state tax returns.
Richard Elliot pleaded guilty in Circuit Court on Tuesday to filing fraudulent general excise tax returns and transient accommodations tax returns for the years 1999 to 2003. He also pleaded guilty to filing false individual tax returns for 2002 and 2003.
He faces up to three years in prison for each year he filed a fraudulent return. He will be sentenced Jan. 10 before Circuit Judge Derrick Chan.
High court disbars Honolulu attorney
The Hawaii Supreme Court has suspended Honolulu attorney Patrick W. Murphy for six months effective Oct. 30 for his handling of a probate matter.
The high court found that Murphy violated rules governing the ethical conduct for attorneys, including lack of competence and diligence and failure to expedite litigation.
Funds for a probate proceeding he began handling in 1986 did not get disbursed until some 16 years later, in 2002, despite complaints from one of the heirs and after he promised the Office of Disciplinary Council he would finish the matter.
Murphy, 68, cannot be reinstated until he completes a mandatory professionalism course. He cannot accept any retainers, clients or handle legal matters until he is reinstated.
Murphy graduated form the Detroit College of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii Bar in 1974.
2 women are charged in immigration fraud
Two Honolulu women who fraudulently assumed the identities of persons who were eligible for immigrant visas were indicted separately last month by a federal grand jury.
Luzviminda Rasos Colobong, 52, and Tessie Ventura Tolentino, 34, were both charged with immigration fraud and identity theft offenses on Sept. 14 and 28, respectively.
They were also charged in separate unrelated cases of misusing a Social Security number and employment verification fraud. Tolentino was also charged with providing false information to the Social Security Administration and making a false statement.
According to federal prosecutors, Colobong and Tolentino immigrated to the United States in 1994 and 1993, respectively. They were able to enter the United States by stealing the identities of persons who were eligible for immigrant visas and who were not aware that their identities had been stolen.
Both women applied for and received Social Security numbers and Hawaii driver's licenses using the stolen identities and were able to secure work. Both faced immigration deportation proceedings in 2004 but continued to work.
Each of the women faces a maximum of five years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
The indictments resulted from investigations by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General.