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Wednesday, October 4, 2000

One Ewa Villages
report still sealed

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

One of three investigative reports on the city's Ewa Villages scam done by the accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche can't be released because the investigation is continuing.

Ewa Villages That's what Corporation Counsel David Arakawa told Andy Mirikitani, City Council Human Services Committee chairman, at a meeting yesterday.

The report, which looked at the issue of employee wrongdoing, cannot be released because of the city's policy involving ongoing internal investigations and union agreements pertaining to the privacy of city employees, Arakawa said.

Mirikitani, the only one of five committee members in attendance through the meeting, attempted to query Arakawa on whether the Deloitte and Touche investigation revealed wrongdoing on city employees besides Michael Kahapea and Norman Tam. "I don't know whether any of us here should be answering those types of questions when the investigation is not even pau," Arakawa said. "Please allow the process to take its course."

He added: "There may be people that we don't know about that we're going to find out about as we get into the rest of the investigation."

Kahapea will be sentenced next month after being found guilty of 43 counts of theft, fraud and other charges related to theft of $6 million from the Ewa Villages relocation fund.

Tam died before going to trial.

Arakawa said the first report by the accounting firm detailed the loss of money for the city's insurance company and helped recover $1 million.

The second report -- which was released to the media on Friday and to the Council yesterday -- criticized the city's lack of accounting safeguards. Arakawa said most of the recommendations have been implemented.

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