Saturday, July 10, 1999

Kauai mayor’s chief aide,
a CPA, files for bankruptcy

By Anthony Sommer


LIHUE -- Wally Rezentes Sr., chief aide to Kauai Mayor Maryanne Kusaka, has filed for bankruptcy.

Rezentes, a certified public accountant by profession, said Thursday the Chapter 7 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Honolulu was forced by debts going back to Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and the economic hard times that followed.

He said he had invested heavily in commercial property on Kauai. The aftermath of the hurricane left him with commercial buildings with few tenants and a $1.2 million debt he couldn't pay.

During last year's election, Kusaka's political opponents attempted to make an issue of a lawsuit filed four years ago in which Rezentes was named as a defendant in a foreclosure action on an office building. Rezentes at the time also was serving as the mayor's top assistant and as co-chairman of Kusaka's re-election campaign.

"I feel kind of embarrassed but I tell myself it's happened to a lot of business people on Kauai," Rezentes said.

Rezentes earns $70,193 annually as the mayor's administrative assistant.

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