Saturday, July 10, 1999

Stadium manager
searched office

The owner of Aloha Flea Market
says his office was broken
into and searched

By Debra Barayuga


A dispute between the Aloha Flea Market and the Stadium Authority has sparked allegations that stadium manager Edwin Hayashi broke into Aloha Flea Market offices and made a search because of political purposes.

But Hayashi says he didn't break into anyone's office.

"That is our stadium office, our box office," Hayashi said.

The allegations are based on a July 2 deposition from stadium security head Herbert Naone.

Aloha Flea Market in March filed suit against the Stadium Authority for breach of contract after the state failed to renew its contract. Vendors fear a new lessee would raise the rents and change the flea market's Wednesday and weekend schedule.

The lawsuit contends Hayashi and the authority acted "in an unfair and unreasonable manner and in bad faith" because Aloha Flea Market and its owner, Edward Medeiros, supported Linda Lingle instead of Ben Cayetano in the 1998 gubernatorial election.

"This is the first I've heard of that, and I didn't even know anything like that was allegedly going on," said Mike McCartney, co-chairman of Cayetano's 1998 re-election campaign. "In all my time in the headquarters or anywhere, this is the first I've heard of it.

"The court will get to the bottom of it."

In an amended complaint filed this week in Circuit Court, Aloha Flea Market accused Hayashi of entering the Aloha Flea Market office near Gate 6 without authorization and searching Medeiros' office because of pressure from Cayetano's campaign headquarters.

"This is a high-level government employee breaking into someone's office," Robert Merce, attorney for Medeiros, said yesterday.

Hayashi said Medeiros doesn't have an office in the stadium.

He said it's a box office loaned to the flea market for business use.

Cayetano's camp was "upset that there was Linda Lingle bumper stickers all over the place where he was the manager," Naone testified.

Linda Lingle bumper stickers had begun appearing on the cars and trucks owned by Aloha Flea Market vendors in late 1998. The bumper stickers, Naone said, also were a thorn in Hayashi's side because he supported Cayetano.

Hayashi had asked Naone if he had a list of the vendors. Naone told him he didn't, but that Medeiros probably had one in his office.

Naone testified that in September 1998, at Hayashi's bidding, they drove to Medeiros' office in a stadium golf cart around dusk. Naone unlocked the door and they went in, he said.

Hayashi searched drawers and shelves and jiggled a mesh cage door that screened off part of Medeiros' office because he thought he saw the list he was looking for on a desk, Naone testified.

Hayashi tugged on a padlock and tried inserting some keys he found in a drawer. After unsuccessful attempts to unlock the door, Hayashi returned the keys "making it look like they hadn't been disturbed" and wiped his fingerprints off the lock and door before they left, Naone testified.

Hayashi said today he went into the box office with Naone to look for Lingle campaign materials, such as literature, brochures and bumper stickers.

He had many complaints from flea market vendors who said they were forced to put bumper stickers on their cars and ask for political donations, he said.

"As stadium manager, I went into the box office that belongs to the stadium and I did not find anything, and I left."

He said he jiggled a padlock because "there's not supposed to be any lock in there because it belongs to the stadium."

He said he wanted a list of vendors so he could talk to them and find out if claims were true that they were being forced to put Lingle bumper stickers on their cars and donate funds.

He saw what appeared to be a list of vendors on the wall in the locked area, he said.

Star-Bulletin reporters Harold Morse and
Helen Altonn contributed to this report.

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