Newswatch

Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, November 11, 1998


Policeman sues, says superiors
retaliated after his complaint

By Crystal Kua, Star-Bulletin

A Honolulu police officer is alleging that members of the police department retaliated against him for reporting complaints of sex discrimination against male police officers.

In a federal lawsuit filed yesterday, Benton G.F. Akina, a 23-year veteran of the department and a union shop steward since 1995, named as defendants the city, the department, Maj. Stephen Watarai, Lt. Shad S. Kane and Sgts. Gary Nihipali and Gordon Costa.

Police spokeswoman Jean Motoyama said the department does not comment on pending lawsuits.

The lawsuit says that Akina, a motorized patrol officer, reported preferential treatment being given a female officer.

The lawsuit says that after he reported the complaints in his capacity as a shop steward, his superiors ordered him to retract the complaint, destroy all copies of the report and not speak of the incident again.

When he refused, his supervisors began to retaliate against him by filing bogus criminal complaints, demoting and transferring him, withholding his wages, misplacing his time card and filing unsubstantiated restraining orders against him, according to the suit.

"Based on this disappointing record of retaliation by HPD and the inability of (the police union) to put an end to this campaign of retaliation against Officer Akina, there is no reasonable alternative to filing this lawsuit in hopes that HPD will re-evaluate their actions," Akina's lawyer Venetia K. Carpenter-Asui said in a statement.

The lawsuit asks for unspecified damages.


Kuhio Beach expansion
gets go ahead

Plans to improve and expand Kuhio Beach while narrowing Kalakaua Avenue have been given final approval, despite continuing objections from residents and representatives of the visitor transportation industry.

The City Council voted 6-3 yesterday to approve a special management area use permit and a shoreline setback variance for the $13.5 million project.

The plan calls for adding a third of an acre of beach and an acre of landscaping. Also included will be a larger police substation and water fountains, which will form a new promenade.

The number of Kalakaua lanes would be reduced from four to three between Kaiulani and Kapahulu avenues. Turnout lanes for passenger loading, emergency and service vehicles will be created on the makai side of Kalakaua.

A recent demonstration study conducted by the city Department of Transportation Services concluded no adverse effects from going to three lanes.

But critics of the plan say the study was flawed and that they're not convinced traffic issues have been addressed. Opponents also have raised concerns about runoff from outdoor showers and the number of restroom stalls.

Construction is expected to begin early next year.


Hiker-death case may be resolved in federal court

A mother's complaint against Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and its superintendent in the hiking death of her son may be resolved in federal court after transfer from state Circuit Court on the Big Island.

Blake Brownlee, 27, of San Leandro, Calif., was found dead of apparent heat-related causes in the park Aug. 23, 1996.

His mother, Margaret Brownlee, later filed a negligence complaint in state court. Yesterday, James Martin, park superintendent, filed in federal court to remove the case from state court.

Blake Brownlee entered Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Aug. 19, 1996, and said he would finish his hike two days later. Margaret Brownlee said when he didn't emerge on Aug. 21, rangers failed to immediately look for him.

Beach nudity: One fined, three plead not guilty

Five people cited for nude sunbathing at Makaleha Beach Park last month appeared in Wahiawa District Court yesterday on a charge of indecent exposure.

William Goodhue Jr. was fined $500 after pleading no contest to the petty misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Goodhue could have the charge dismissed in six months if he stays arrest-free.

Gordon Berry also pleaded no contest and was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. He will also have a chance to clear his record in six months.

John P. Hartshorn, Maiika Kalama and Frances Milford each pleaded not guilty. Their cases were referred to the public defender's office for a lawyer.

Joseph E. Davis did not appear. His case will be heard later.


CORRECTION

Retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, radio show host and central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, will be a guest tomorrow on KHVH Radio, 830 AM. He will be on "The Rick Hamada Show" from 9 to 10 a.m.; then from 10 to 11 a.m., "The Oliver North Radio Show" will be broadcast live with listeners invited to call in.

Afterward, North will appear at a free 11:30 a.m. forum at the University of Hawaii Campus Center Ballroom on "Political and Economic Outlook from a Local and National Perspective."


See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
See our [Search] [Info] section for subscription information.




Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Kona man, 35, charged with girlfriend's murder

KAILUA-KONA -- Police say they have charged Bruce Frank, 35, of Kailua-Kona with murder for the bludgeoning death of his girlfriend, Jennifer Jean Malvey.

The body of Malvey, 30, was found Saturday at a Kona bar where the couple had been staying in an upstairs office.

Police said the death was the apparent result of a domestic dispute.

Frank was also charged with four traffic offenses committed when he tried to get away from officers in Waimea Sunday.

Woman using crosswalk badly hurt in Ewa Beach

A 20-year-old Ewa Beach woman was critically injured when she was struck by a car while crossing the street in Ewa Beach last night.

The woman was crossing Fort Weaver Road near Ewa Beach Road at 7:10 p.m. inside a marked crosswalk when she was hit by a Mazda 626 sedan, police said.

The driver of the car, a 53-year-old Mililani woman, was not hurt.

The pedestrian was airlifted to Queen's Hospital where she remains in critical condition today.

Oahu, Maui police nab 2 counterfeit suspects

Police on two islands have arrested two men in separate cases involving fake $20 bills.

On Maui, a 28-year-old man was arrested for allegedly trying to pass fake $20 bills at a Wailuku massage parlor. Fernando Ibuos of Kahului was charged with first-degree forgery and misdemeanor theft, Maui police Lt. Gregory Peros said.

The fake bills, allegedly distributed on Saturday, are believed to have been made by a copy machine at Ibuos' residence, Peros said. Ibuos was freed after posting $5,100 bail.

On Oahu, police yesterday arrested a man at a Waipahu 7-Eleven store for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill. The man reportedly bought a soft drink with the fake bill at the Leokane Street 7-Eleven at about 9:35 p.m., police said.

The clerk noticed the bill was phony and called authorities.

Motorcyclist hit by car in Waikiki hospitalized

A 56-year-old motorcyclist was hospitalized when a car slammed into him in Waikiki today.

The car hit the man at 8:09 a.m. in front of the Waikiki fire station near the intersection of Kapahulu and Paki avenues, fire officials said. He was taken to Queen's Hospital where he remains in fair condition. The woman driving the car was uninjured.

Woman accused of gun, drug, traffic violations

A 35-year-old woman was arrested yesterday after drugs and a handgun were reportedly recovered from her overdue rental car.

The woman was stopped on South King Street at 9 p.m. for operating an overdue rental, police said. Officers then allegedly recovered marijuana from the woman.

When the car was returned to the rental agency, a handgun was found in the trunk, police said.

The woman was booked for firearms violations, driving without a license, operating an overdue rental car and promoting dangerous drugs.

Diesel-fuel truck fire ties up Leeward traffic

A truck carrying up to 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel caught fire at the intersection of Farrington Highway and Makakilo Road last night.

Nine fire trucks, six from Honolulu and three from the military, responded to the incident at about 6:15 p.m.

The fire was brought under control within 10 minutes, but it took several hours to stop the leak, tow the truck away and clean up the fuel that spilled onto Farrington Highway. Traffic was routed around the incident.

Lanai bicyclist dies after running into boy

A bicyclist died on Lanai after crashing into a boy along the side of a highway leading to the Lanai airport.

John E. Dryer, 52, of Hana sustained fatal head injuries in the crash at 9:21 p.m. Monday along Kaumalapau Highway near the Miki Basin Road, said Maui Police Lt. Clayton Tom.

Tom said the 17-year-old boy standing on the side of the road never saw Dryer before being struck. The boy had minor injuries.


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See our [Search] [Info] section for subscription information.




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