2 plead guilty to wire fraud in city planning department scandal

Frank Fasi Municipal Building
Frank Fasi Municipal Building(Archive)
Updated: Apr. 7, 2021 at 5:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two people involved in a city bribery scandal pleaded guilty to the charges facing them on Wednesday.

Kanani Padeken and William Wong both admitted to the charges of wire fraud.

Padeken, a supervisor for the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting, said in exchange for money, she gave preferential treatment to Wong, who is a local architect.

The scandal came to light late last month when charges against five current and former DPP employees were announced. Wong was considered a whistleblower in the case, but also faced charges for engaging in offering the bribes.

[Read the original report: 5 city planning department employees charged in months-long federal corruption investigation]

Three other current or former DPP employees have pleaded not guilty to similar charges. A fourth hasn’t yet entered a plea.

One Kahala homeowner told Hawaii News Now defendant Wayne Inouye delayed permits for home improvement projects up to five and a half months, calling the experience “frustrating” at the least.

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