Hilo engineer faces
donations indictment

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.



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