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Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Legislature 2000


Money uncertainties
won’t hold up
Kapolei library plans

By Crystal Kua


Money already allotted for a planned community library for Kapolei probably is safe from expiring even though additional funding being requested from the Legislature this session likely won't come through.

State Comptroller Ray Sato said he anticipates awarding a construction contract for the Kapolei library by June 30, the deadline by which the $8.6 million appropriation was required to be used or else be lost for good.

Once the contract is awarded, the funds would be encumbered and safe from expiring, Sato said.

The library design is being reworked to reflect two plans -- with and without a central distribution center -- and should be completed by the end of the month. The design used will depend on whether the requested additional $2 million is appropriated by the Legislature.

Sato said when the project is put out for bid after completion of design, potential bidders will be asked for estimates to cover both situations.

State Librarian Virginia Lowell said the $2 million requested for the library so far is not in either the House or Senate versions of the budget.

"It sounds like it's not going to be available," Lowell said of the amount being requested.

Lowell said she's concerned that if bids come in over the amount appropriated then the money could still lapse.

But Sato said the $8.6 million currently available for the project is enough to complete construction on the library without the central distribution center. The center would only be built if the Legislature appropriated the additional money.

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Governor’s Circuit
Court appointee had
‘minor repriman’
10 years ago

By Debra Barayuga


Gov. Ben Cayetano's latest appointee to the Circuit Court bench was publicly reprimanded 10 years ago by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

But the governor's spokeswoman says Cayetano was "absolutely aware" of the sanction against Karl K. Sakamoto and considered it a "minor reprimand."

Sakamoto, deputy director of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission for the past 10 years, today was to face a confirmation hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Kathleen Racuya-Markrich, Cayetano's spokeswoman.

Sakamoto could not be reached for comment.

Racuya-Markrich, said the governor discussed the matter with Sakamoto who was "up front" about it. The Judicial Selection Commission also considered it a "minor reprimand" and recommended Sakamoto, along with five others to Cayetano, Racuya-Markrich said.

Information concerning the reprimand was included among materials the commission sent to the governor with the list of recommendations, she said.

The Judicial Selection Commission could not be reached for comment.

Sakamoto was reprimanded in January 1990 for failing to disclose all the terms of a plea agreement he negotiated for a client in a criminal case while he was with the Office of the Public Defender. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel found Sakamoto's actions were prejudicial to the administration of justice and adversely reflected on his fitness to practice law.

A public reprimand is the third least severe form of sanction by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for conduct. The worst is disbarment.

A public reprimand does not affect the attorney's ability to continue practicing law, said Brian Means, assistant disciplinary counsel. The 1990 reprimand was Sakamoto's only record of public discipline.

Cayetano appointed Sakamoto, pending Senate confirmation, to fill the vacancy left by former Circuit Judge Elwin Ahu.

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