Hemmings says wife is victim of revenge


POSTED: Friday, May 15, 2009

State Sen. Fred Hemmings says a person with a vendetta against him is behind a criminal indictment against his wife.

;[Preview]  Sen. Hemmings On Wife's Charges

Sen. Fred Hemmings discusses theft charges filed by the attorney general's office against his wife.

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An Oahu grand jury charged Lydia Hemmings last week with three counts of second-degree theft from Blueprint for Change, a nonprofit organization for which she was executive director.

Her lawyer, Howard Luke, pleaded not guilty on her behalf yesterday in state court.

Second-degree theft involves property or services worth more than $300. It is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Hemmings, 52, posted $5,000 bail Monday.

The thefts occurred in three periods between May 2005 and August 2006, according to the indictment. Two of the periods overlap.

“;There was some confusion in the bookkeeping; no one will deny that,”; said Fred Hemmings.

And on several occasions the board of directors and his wife made requests to get a treasurer to sort things out, he said. In the end, Blueprint for Change was audited and everything was fixed, including some exchange of money between the organization and his wife, Hemmings said.

“;Blueprint for Change itself is satisfied,”; he said, “;so obviously this complaint is being driven by someone other than Blueprint for Change.”;

No one responded to telephone messages left with the organization.

Lydia Hemmings now works for the state.

Fred Hemmings said a person who had been discharged from the organization and who has a vendetta against him filed a complaint with the state attorney general. He did not name the person.

He said the attorney general questioned his wife 2 1/2 years ago. He said they did not hear anything about the complaint again until last week when the grand jury returned the indictment, one day before the expiration of the statute of limitations.