Ex-investigator guilty in city gun gear case
A former investigator with the city Department of the Prosecuting Attorney pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of second-degree theft for using county funds to acquire firearm accessories for his own use.
Craig Whang also entered a guilty plea to two felony counts of unauthorized computer access for using an office Internet program to locate people for a private process-serving business.
City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle began an investigation into internal allegations of questionable purchase orders and missing inventory in 2003. He turned the investigation over to the Honolulu Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by the state Department of the Attorney General.
In a December 2004 search of Whang's Mililani home, Honolulu police officers collected boxes of ammunition, firearms, machinery to customize guns and other law enforcement equipment identified as belonging to the Prosecutor's Office.
Whang was indicted in March 2006 on five theft counts.
Whang, who was a prosecutor's investigator since 1992, said in a 2004 lawsuit that his employer knew that he brought equipment home from the firing range where he gave firearms training.
He claimed the criminal investigation was retaliation for a complaint he filed about a supervisor.
The suit against Carlisle and other officials in the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney is pending.
Whang faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine on the computer access charges and five years and $10,000 on each theft count.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 26 by Circuit Judge Richard Perkins.
He told the judge yesterday that he will seek a deferred acceptance of guilty plea, which would expunge his record if he is not arrested or charged for an agreed period of time.