Saturday, November 27, 1999

City & County of Honolulu

Prosecutor docks deputy’s
pay for sub-leasing
city parking space

By Debra Barayuga


City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle has docked $4,000 from the salary of one of his deputies for renting a parking stall to another employee, in violation of city policy.

Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Tashima had rented his stall in Ali'i Place for almost six months before Carlisle learned of it this year and took quick administrative action.

"He wasn't supposed to do that and he charged more than he had to pay and pocketed the rest," Carlisle said, calling it a "poor lapse in judgment."

Tashima has apologized, Carlisle said. Tashima could not be reached for comment. Tashima would have had his parking privilege suspended for a year for violating the policy but since he didn't need the parking, the sanction was inadequate, Carlisle said.

The system for allocating parking was also inadequate so Carlisle made some changes, including establishing definite rules on who gets parking, when and where.

Since the incident came to light, Carlisle now requires employees to use the stalls they are allocated or lose them. He also has granted senior employees "rights of first refusal," meaning if they decline a stall at one point, they still will be considered when another opens up, rather than being relegated to the bottom of the list.

Because of the stricter rules, some employees have chosen instead to rent private stalls -- freeing up more city spaces that can be made available to those who are eligible, Carlisle said.

Besides Tashima, at least a half dozen other deputies had their parking privileges suspended for loaning their stalls to other deputies. In their cases, they paid $35 for a parking subsidy and took $35 from deputies who rented it from them. Tashima was the only one making a profit.

While Tashima should not have been making a profit, his actions essentially allowed another employees with less seniority to be able to park in a city stall and no taxpayer money was lost, Carlisle said. "If at any point I thought it involved taxpayers' dollars going into this guy's pocket, he would have been charged with theft."

If Tashima was a civil service employee, he probably would have only had his parking privileges suspended for a year, Carlisle said. Carlisle considered firing Tashima but he is doing a good job as a deputy prosecutor. And while docking his pay $4,000 fell short of severely disciplining him, it was still a "walloping stiff penalty," Carlisle said.

No one would risk doing it again because of the possible penalty, he added.

Ten years ago, Tashima came under scrutiny after pleading no contest to shoplifting three pairs of pants from Liberty House.

He was granted a deferral of his no contest plea, in which his case would be erased from his record if he stayed out of trouble for six months, paid a $160 fine and did 35 hours of community service.

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