By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, March 18, 1999

Prison guard faces
drug charges

By Rod Ohira, Star-Bulletin

A 44-year-old Halawa prison guard, who was paid $317,566 by the city in October to settle a lawsuit stemming from an alleged beating while in police custody, spent 48 hours this week at the cellblock where the 1995 incident occurred.

"He was concerned about his welfare there," attorney Earle Partington said, referring to his client, Richard Doolin. "Something had better not happen to him while he's in custody."

Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Jean Motoyama said Doolin is being treated no differently than any other prisoner.

Doolin, 44, was to be charged today on multiple drug offenses stemming from his alleged purchase of an ounce of crystal methamphetamine Tuesday from an undercover police officer, said Partington.

"The timing of all this I find very suspicious," Partington said. "I suspect Doolin was targeted because of his recovery from the county, but my supposition is based on conjecture, not facts."

Doolin has been placed on 30-day administrative leave and will not be allowed back to work even if he posts bail, said Sidney Hayakawa, deputy director of the state Department of Public Safety.

According to court records of the lawsuit, Doolin alleged that he was thrown to the ground while shackled and repeatedly punched and kicked in the head, face, legs and body by officers outside at the central receiving cellblock on Aug. 5, 1995, without cause or justification. Doolin alleges he was also struck with a night stick.

Doolin, who had been arrested for violating a temporary restraining order by telephoning his ex-wife, suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Arbitrator Raymond Tam described the beating as "egregious, vicious and mean-spirited."

Of the two officers named in the suit, one is still with the department while the other has left, Motoyama said.

Nine other officers were mentioned in the stipulation for dismissal with prejudice, but city Corporation Counsel David Arakawa said not all were involved in the incident.

The settlement clears the city of any liability stemming from the incident, added Arakawa.

City planners endorse park at Kam Drive-In

The city Planning Commission has reversed itself and now is endorsing City Council Chairman Mufi Hannemann's plan to turn the Kam Drive-In site into a park.

By a 7-1 vote, with one member absent, the commission yesterday recommended that the 14-acre site owned by Kamehameha Schools/

Bishop Estate parcel be designated for a park.

While the vote is only a recommendation to the Council, the reversal was stunning considering the panel voted 5-4 two weeks ago to reject the park plan.

Hannemann, who represents the Aiea region, lobbied heavily for a favorable recommendation and promised to find an alternative site for vendors of the drive-in swap meet who have opposed the park designation.

Hannemann has also promised to back off his push for a park if Bishop Estate agrees to honor the full term of its lease to Consolidated Amusement, which operates the swap meet.

The lease runs until 2016, but Bishop Estate can back out at any point. Bishop Estate opposes Hannemann's plan on the grounds that it is commercial property and would send the message that the city is "anti-business."

Suspect in shooting death pleads not guilty

Keala Leong, the second man indicted in the shooting death of an Army pilot on vacation, pleaded not guilty today in federal court.

Leong, 19, of Waianae, is charged with first degree murder, robbery and attempted burglary in connection with the death of John Latchum, 33, in June 1998. Latchum, vacationing with his family at the Waianae Army Recreation Center, was killed when he tried to stop intruders from breaking into his rented cottage.

Until Leong's bail is set Wednesday, he is at Halawa prison.

City worker sentenced in cat-poisoning case

Steven Sakai was sentenced this morning to a $250 fine, one year probation and 100 hours of community service for trying to poison feral cats.

Sakai, a city employee, admitted spraying six mounds of cat food with a commercial lubricant on Sept. 28, 1998. He said he was frustrated with feral cats entering a city warehouse where he worked in Kakaako.

Privatization of mental health program faulted

The state Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division has problems effectively managing programs contracted to private organizations, says State Auditor Marion Higa.

In a report to the Legislature regarding privatization of the child and adolescent mental health program, the auditor said the program already is "highly privatized."

Nearly $30 million, about half of the division's total appropriations for 1996-97, were spent on contracts with 26 private and public service agencies, the report noted.

However, it said, the contracts are poorly managed, leaving "no assurance that quality services are delivered effectively and efficiently by outside providers."

The Department of Health said corrective measures are already being taken in some areas.

Harris affirms funding for Kapolei projects

Although funds are short and the city construction budget is $100 million less than last year, it includes every project the Kapolei community decided it wanted, Mayor Jeremy Harris told the Kapolei Neighborhood Board.

Responding to questions last night from the estimated 150 people who turned out, Harris and city department heads told residents that street resurfacing will be expedited, a hazardous materials unit will be added to the Kapolei fire station within a year and that bringing back the community Open Market will be explored.

Addressing a proposed fee for trash collection, Harris said, "If you don't charge the $1.10 (the proposed fee per pickup), then you're going to have to raise property taxes across the board."

Harris praised the success of the adopt-a-park program with Kapolei residents and gave out certificates of appreciation to groups active in the volunteer work.

"This area has probably done a better job of ... adopting a park better than any area on the island," he said.

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Police, Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff


Police arrest 9-year-old for threatening principal

A 9-year-old boy was arrested yesterday for threatening to strike his principal with a garden rake.

The Kahaluu Elementary School student allegedly threatened the principal at about 11 a.m., police said.

He was booked on first-degree terroristic threatening and released to his parents.

Big Isle marijuana sweep rakes in 4,352 plants

HILO -- Big Island police and other agencies seized another 4,352 marijuana plants in the Puna District yesterday, bringing the total for two days of operations to 13,196 plants, they said.

There were no arrests or other incidents.

Short circuit causes Maui farm tractor fire

WAILUKU -- An electrical short circuit was the cause of a tractor fire on a macadamia nut farm in upper Waiehu owned by Wailuku Agribusiness, Assistant Fire Chief Alan Cordeiro said.

The fire which took place close to 5 p.m. yesterday caused $10,000 in damages to the tractor but no injuries to employees, Cordeiro said.

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