EXCLUSIVE: State warned of airport kickback allegations two years ago

EXCLUSIVE: State warned of airport kickback allegations two years ago

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two years ago, state transportation officials met with airport cab drivers over complaints of kickbacks and harassment at Honolulu Airport. But they said the state failed to action.

"The state knew about this for two years, maybe more. There's nothing done, still the same thing," said Lou, who worked with the FBI as a confidential informant to document alleged payoffs demanded by security workers employed by airport contractor Securitas.

"I think there's a cover up. That's the bottom line."

Sources tell Hawaii News Now that one of the people who attended the 2013 meeting was Department of Transportation Director Ford Fuchigami, then the head of the state's airports. Others at the meeting include Securitas executives Sanj Sappal and managers with Ampco Systems Parking.

We asked the DOT whether it investigated the drivers' allegations or took any action. It wouldn't say, citing the ongoing FBI investigation.
Cab drivers said that after the 2013 meeting, the harassment got worse.

During our investigation Hawaii News Now was shown a number of written complaints to the state and Securitas over the years. 
Under its three-year, $98 million contract with the state, Securitas is required to provide the state with a summary of how it dealt with such complaints.

"Shiva," another driver, said he filed eight complaints with the DOT and Securitas. In each case, the state and Securitas ignored his problems.
"After I made a complaint, (one of the officers ) called me and threatened me and he told me not to complain any more," he said.

"I have been followed, harassed, mistreated by some of these plainclothes officers."

Because Securitas is a state contractor, the state is responsible for its conduct.

We have repeatedly asked the state if it ever responded to these complaints and have received no answer.  The drivers say they've seen no changes on the road.

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