Charges against Hawaii census worker dismissed

Russell Haas
Russell Haas
Jamey Christy
Jamey Christy

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (AP) - A census worker who was charged with trespassing on the Big Island earlier this year will not have to go to trial. A federal judge on Thursday dismissed the case against Russell Haas, 57.

Hawaii County police arrested Haas in March after the resident of a Hawaiian Acres home refused to participate in the census and ordered him to leave the fenced property. That resident was an off-duty police officer.

Prosecutors agreed to drop the case after discussions with the defense and census officials.

"When it was a man that was refusing to enter the census, I persisted," Haas said. "I pushed a little bit harder than maybe I should have."

"Really, our over-arching goal in this particular matter was just to try and improve the process to make sure that this type of matter doesn't happen again" Kevin Hashizaki, Hawaii County deputy prosecutor, said.

"There's some subtleties that are different for each location. I think there's room for us to really address how we take the census here in Hawaii," Jamey Christy, LA Region Census Center director, said. "I'm very excited that the local folks from Hawaii County are interested in working with us."

The petty misdemeanor trespassing charge could have brought maximum penalties of a $1,000 fine and 30 days imprisonment.

Hawaii County police say they respect the court's decision.

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Census worker arrested for trespassing

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