In a recent case of government corruption, Wayne Inouye, a supervisor at the Department of Planning and Permitting, was sentenced to 60 months in prison for his involvement in a bribery scheme. Inouye, along with several other individuals, accepted bribes in exchange for expediting the approval of permits issued by the department. The investigation, conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, uncovered a pattern of illicit activities that compromised the trust of the public. This article delves into the details of the case, shedding light on the extent of the corruption and the consequences faced by those involved.
Description of the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP)
The Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) is a government agency responsible for regulating and overseeing the development and construction activities within the City and County of Honolulu. The department ensures that all construction projects comply with building codes, zoning regulations, and other relevant laws to promote the safety and well-being of the community.
Overview of the bribery scheme
A bribery scheme involving employees of the DPP was recently uncovered, revealing a significant breach of ethical conduct and public trust. Several individuals, including Wayne Inouye, a former Chief Building Inspector at DPP, were involved in soliciting and accepting bribes from architects, contractors, and others in exchange for expediting the approval of building permits.
Details of the investigation by the FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted an extensive investigation into the corruption at the DPP. The investigation revealed a pattern of bribery and other illegal activities, leading to the filing of honest services wire fraud charges against six individuals, including Wayne Inouye. The FBI played a crucial role in uncovering the scheme and ensuring that those involved were held accountable for their actions.
Charges and guilty pleas of other individuals involved
Alongside Wayne Inouye, five other individuals were charged in connection with the bribery scheme at the DPP. Jennie Javonillo, a former Building Plans Examiner at DPP, Jason Dadez, a former Building Inspector at DPP, Jocelyn Godoy, an employee of the Data Access and Imaging Branch at DPP, Kanani Padeken, a former Building Plans Examiner at DPP, and William Wong, an architect, all entered guilty pleas. Each individual admitted to their involvement in the scheme and accepted responsibility for their actions.
Sentencing and Charges
Sentence imposed on Wayne Inouye
Wayne Inouye, the Chief Building Inspector at DPP, has been sentenced to 60 months imprisonment, two years of supervised release, and a $100,000 fine. The sentence reflects the seriousness of his offenses and the impact they have had on the public’s trust in government officials.
Length of imprisonment, supervised release, and fine
In addition to the 60-month prison term, Wayne Inouye will also serve two years of supervised release upon completion of his sentence. Furthermore, he has been ordered to pay a $100,000 fine, a significant penalty intended to serve as a deterrent to others who may consider engaging in similar acts of corruption.
False statements made to federal investigators
During the investigation, Wayne Inouye made false statements to federal investigators in an attempt to conceal his crimes. Specifically, he claimed that the payments he received from architect William Wong were a loan. However, he later admitted that the payments were, in fact, bribes. Inouye’s false statements further demonstrate the extent of his deception and the need for full accountability.
Impact on the public’s trust and need for deterrence
The bribery scheme orchestrated by Wayne Inouye and others has had a profound impact on the public’s trust in government officials and institutions. It erodes the integrity and credibility of the Department of Planning and Permitting, as well as the broader public sector. The sentencing of Wayne Inouye and others involved sends a clear message that public corruption will not be tolerated, and that those who violate the public’s trust will face severe consequences.
Description of the Bribery Scheme
Inouye’s role as Chief Building Inspector at DPP
Wayne Inouye held the position of Chief Building Inspector at the Department of Planning and Permitting. As a senior employee with supervisory responsibility, he played a significant role in the approval process for building permits.
Solicitation of bribes from architects, contractors, and others
Inouye abused his position of authority and solicited bribes from architects, contractors, and other individuals involved in the construction industry. He approached these individuals and offered to expedite the approval of their permit applications in exchange for financial kickbacks.
Expedition of permit approval in exchange for bribes
Inouye would fast-track the approval of building permits for those who paid him bribes, putting their applications ahead of others in the queue. This unethical practice allowed those who participated in the bribery scheme to bypass the normal review process and gain an unfair advantage in their construction projects.
Bribes received from architect William Wong
From September 2016 to September 2017, Wayne Inouye solicited and accepted bribes totaling at least $89,205 from architect William Wong. Inouye expedited Wong’s permit applications in exchange for these payments, a clear abuse of his position and a betrayal of the public’s trust.
Bribes received from a signage contractor
Between February 2012 and August 2017, Inouye solicited and accepted bribes amounting to at least $3,425 from a signage contractor. In return, he ensured that the contractor’s permit applications were prioritized and processed quickly, enabling the contractor to circumvent the normal channels and gain an unfair advantage.
Bribes received from a building contractor
Inouye also received bribes from a building contractor between April 2012 and January 2016. The total amount of bribes received from this contractor was at least $9,685. In exchange for these payments, Inouye expedited the contractor’s permit applications, allowing them to bypass the usual review process and move forward with their projects.
Bribes received from a second signage contractor
From February 2012 to December 2017, Inouye solicited and accepted bribes totaling at least $1,825 from a second signage contractor. As with the other instances, Inouye prioritized this contractor’s permit applications, granting them an unfair advantage over their competitors.
Inouye’s false claims of the payments being a loan
During the investigation, Wayne Inouye falsely claimed that the payments he received from architect William Wong were loans. He lied about the nature of the financial transactions in an attempt to conceal his involvement in the bribery scheme. However, he later admitted that the payments were, in fact, bribes.
Repayment of Wong after learning of the FBI investigation
In an effort to conceal his bribery scheme, Wayne Inouye repaid architect William Wong in October 2017, after learning that the FBI was investigating corruption at the DPP. This desperate attempt to cover his tracks only further underscored the extent of his illicit activities and his disregard for the law.
Admission of bribes during guilty plea
During his guilty plea, Wayne Inouye admitted to soliciting and accepting bribes from various individuals involved in the construction industry. He acknowledged his role in the bribery scheme and took responsibility for his actions. This admission further solidifies the evidence against him and leaves no doubt as to his guilt.
Impact on Public Trust
Diminishment of government employee integrity
Wayne Inouye’s involvement in the bribery scheme has contributed to the diminishment of government employee integrity. When public servants like Inouye engage in corrupt practices, it erodes the public’s confidence in the government’s ability to serve their best interests and uphold ethical standards. The actions of a few can taint the reputation of the entire public sector.
Damage to the public’s trust
The bribery scheme at the DPP, of which Wayne Inouye was a central figure, has caused significant damage to the public’s trust in the department and the government as a whole. The revelation of corruption within an agency responsible for ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations raises questions about the fairness and transparency of the permit approval process.
Priority of the U.S. Attorney’s office in combating public corruption
The U.S. Attorney’s office has made combating public corruption a top priority. By holding individuals like Wayne Inouye accountable for their actions, the office sends a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated. Public servants are expected to uphold the highest ethical standards, and those who violate the public’s trust will face severe consequences.
FBI’s dedication to pursuing those who violate public trust
The FBI has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to pursuing those who violate the public’s trust. The investigation into the bribery scheme at the DPP exemplifies the agency’s dedication to rooting out corruption and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable. The FBI’s efforts play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of government institutions and upholding the rule of law.
FBI’s role in the investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation played a central role in uncovering the bribery scheme at the Department of Planning and Permitting. Through their investigative techniques and resources, the FBI gathered evidence, interviewed witnesses, and built a strong case against Wayne Inouye and his co-conspirators. The agency’s diligent efforts led to the successful prosecution of those involved in the corruption scheme.
Convictions resulting from the investigation
The investigation into the bribery scheme at the DPP resulted in convictions for all those charged. Wayne Inouye, along with five other individuals, pleaded guilty to their involvement in the corruption scheme. These convictions underscore the strength of the evidence gathered by the FBI and the effectiveness of the prosecution’s case.
Prosecution of the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys
The case against Wayne Inouye and his co-conspirators was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Nammar and Craig Nolan. Their dedication and expertise in handling complex corruption cases contributed to the successful outcome of the prosecution. Their efforts ensured that those involved in the bribery scheme were held accountable for their actions.
Contact information for Elliot Enoki of the U.S. Department of Justice
For further information or inquiries regarding the sentencing of Wayne Inouye, please contact Elliot Enoki of the U.S. Department of Justice at Elliot.Enoki@usdoj.gov.
Information on the sentencing of another Hawaii State Representative
For information on the recent sentencing of another Hawaii State Representative in a separate case, please refer to the press release titled “Former Hawaii State Representative Sentenced to 24 Months in Federal Prison.”
Sentencing of a former Maui County Official for wire fraud
To learn about the sentencing of a former Maui County Official for wire fraud, refer to the press release titled “Former Maui County Official Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Honest Services Wire Fraud.”
Charging of a former Maui County Environmental Management Official for bribery
For details on the charging of a former Maui County Environmental Management Official for bribery, please see the press release titled “Former Maui County Environmental Management Official Charged with Accepting Bribes.”
In conclusion, the sentencing of Wayne Inouye and the prosecution of the bribery scheme at the Department of Planning and Permitting sends a strong message about the importance of holding public officials accountable. The actions of Inouye and his co-conspirators undermined the public’s trust and damaged the integrity of government institutions. However, the successful investigation and prosecution by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office demonstrate a commitment to combatting public corruption and upholding ethical standards. It is imperative that individuals who violate the public’s trust are held to account to restore confidence in the government and maintain the integrity of public service.