Hilo engineer faces
Harold Sugiyama allegedly
contributed under false names
An Oahu grand jury indicted a Big Island engineer on charges of making illegal political contributions to Mayor Jeremy Harris.
The secret panel charged Harold Sugiyama yesterday on two counts of making political donations under a false name to the Harris campaign.
Deputy Prosecutor Randal Lee said Sugiyama, an engineer with M & E Pacific Inc.'s Hilo office, made two contributions of $1,000 each in the names of his brother and sister to the Harris campaign.
The charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in prison.
Sugiyama could not be reached for immediate comment.
For the past year, prosecutors and the state Campaign Spending Commission have been investigating M & E Pacific's alleged links to more than $30,000 in political contributions to the Harris campaign.
People familiar with the probes said investigators are targeting several other M & E Pacific officers.
Under state law, donors can give no more than $4,000 to a mayoral candidate during a four-year election cycle. They also are barred from making political donations under false names.
Founded in 1959, M & E Pacific is one of the state's largest engineering firms. The company has received nearly $15 million in city work since 1984, according to city records.
Harris' campaign attorneys have denied any connection between campaign contributions and the awarding of city contracts.