If you’re keeping count, the rail authority has now received 3 subpoenas
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - They just keep coming.
Honolulu rail authorities confirmed Monday that they had received a third subpoena in connection with a federal criminal investigation into the state’s largest public works project.
The newest subpoena asks for HART board of directors meeting minutes, including the minutes taken during executive session ― when the body meets behind closed doors.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board Chairman Damien Kim said the agency wants to comply with the latest subpoena, but board members must first consult with city attorneys because executive session conversations are typically private. Those conversations were largely redacted in documents provided to the state auditor.
Kim added that the investigation and subpoenas, which translate to thousands of pages of documents, are a significant concern. “We do want to get the positive message on the rail, but this does slow things down,” Kim said.
In the first two subpoenas, a federal grand jury sought a broad list of documents, from contractor change orders to real estate acquisition reports.
Meanwhile, HART officials maintain that the probe is not expected to stall the project ― or its federal funding.
The beleaguered rail project has been the subject of several critical audits, including two released in January.
Both of those audits faulted rail officials for missteps that led to project costs ballooning 80 percent ― from the original estimate of $5.1 billion to more than $9 billion.
The project’s completion has also been pushed back to 2025.
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