Top HPD investigator
in Harris probe faces

Less than two weeks after his appointment as Honolulu police chief, Boisse Correa is considering reassigning the top investigator in the criminal probe into Mayor Jeremy Harris' campaign.

Correa plans to meet with Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle next week to see whether the investigation can be conducted by Honolulu Police Department detectives, according to Deputy Police Chief Glen Kajiyama.

For the last 2 1/2 years, the HPD's criminal investigation into the Harris campaign has been led by Maj. Dan Hanagami, a veteran of several high-profile investigations into government corruption in Hawaii.

Kajiyama stressed that no decision has been made and that the proposal is part of an HPD review of resources.

Bob Watada, executive director of the state Campaign Spending Commission, said reassigning Hanagami would cripple the criminal investigation. He said Hanagami has already interviewed hundreds of donors accused of giving money illegally to the Harris campaign. It would take months, if not years, for a new investigator to get up to speed, he said.

"If they put someone else on the case right now, in many cases they would have to start over," Watada said.

Kajiyama noted that investigations are typically conducted by HPD detectives and not by division commanders like Hanagami. In addition to the Harris investigation, Hanagami heads the HPD's Information Technology Division, also known as its white-collar crime division.

Kajiyama said the new chief hopes to get an update on the Harris investigation from Carlisle when they meet. He also wants to know whether prosecutors can conduct the investigation without Hanagami.

Hanagami did not return calls, and Carlisle, who is out of town, could not be reached.

Since the investigation of the Harris campaign began in January 2002, city prosecutors and the HPD have obtained guilty and no-contest pleas from dozens of donors linked to major city contractors, including former Honolulu Police Commissioner Leonard Leong.



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