Officer pleads guilty to lying
A U.S. Coast Guardsman admitted yesterday that he lied to officials investigating the discharge of pollutants from a Coast Guard vessel into Honolulu Harbor.
Chief Warrant Officer David G. Williams pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of making a false statement. He faces a maximum five years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 19.
Personnel of the Coast Guard cutter Rush's engineering department pumped untreated oily water from the bilge directly into Honolulu Harbor on March 8, 2006, according to a federal indictment. The state Health Department received an anonymous complaint five days later that crew members were ordered to pump about 2,000 gallons of bilge waste into the harbor.
U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo said Williams gave the order.
Williams was the engineering department's main propulsion assistant aboard the Rush. He was responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the 378-foot vessel's main diesel engines and other machinery in the engine room.
There were 10 other discharges of untreated bilge waste into the ocean while the Rush was performing law enforcement patrols off Central America and South America between September and December 2005, according to the indictment.
When he was interviewed by Coast Guard investigators, Williams denied knowing about the discharge of untreated bilge waste or of a bypass of the ship's oily-water separator system.
Williams has been in the Coast Guard for more than 24 years. He was assigned to the Rush in June 2005.