State of Hawaii

Airport probe
nets sixth arrest

All 6 allegedly took part
in a maintenance kickback scheme

By Rod Antone

Investigators for the state Attorney General's Office have arrested a sixth person who was allegedly involved in a Honolulu Airport kickback scheme.

Eric S. Kawasugi, owner and president of Island Fence Inc., was arrested yesterday while state investigators executed a search warrant at his 1143 Hopaka St. business. Kawasugi, 52, was arrested for theft, forgery and conspiracy to commit theft, according to a press release.

Kawasugi was booked at the District Court cellblock and released pending investigation.

Kawasugi's arrest is the sixth in the case that state investigators said helped double the annual cost of airport maintenance projects. Also arrested this year were three airport supervisors and a man and his adult daughter who run a Salt Lake construction company.

Kawasugi could not be reached last night for comment. State Attorney General Earl Anzai has said previously that the kickback scheme involved repair work at the airport for small-contract projects under $25,000, most of them minor repair jobs such as cracks in floors, holes in walls and replacing ceramic tile.

Anzai would not say exactly how many projects his department was looking at, only that there were hundreds of them.

Anzai said the scheme is believed to be the reason why in 1999 the annual cost of airport maintenance jobs doubled, rising to about $8 million from the usual $3 million to $4 million a year.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call state investigators at 586-1240.

Hawaii State Judiciary

E-mail to City Desk


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