Maui County to review contracts amid bribery scandal that netted former public official

Milton Choy and Stewart Stant.
Milton Choy and Stewart Stant.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:35 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 17, 2022 at 12:11 AM HST
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WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County is taking a closer look at the contracts awarded to companies run by a Hawaii businessman at the center of the state Capitol bribery scandal.

Prosecutors said Stewart Stant, the county’s Environmental Management director under Mayor Alan Arakawa, got $2 million in bribes and gave Milton Choy, owner of H20 Process Systems, about $20 million in contracts from 2012 to 2018.

Mayoral candidate and former Judge Richard Bissen said there should be a process to prevent things like that from happening. For example, not allowing just one official to control contracts.

“A requirement that at least two people sign off on contracts after over a certain amount,” Bissen said.

Current Mayor Michael Victorino’s pointed out that none of the alleged bribes happened while he was mayor.

However, Choy did have some contracts with the Victorino administration. The mayor said those will get another look.

“I strongly condemn public corruption in all forms,” Victorino said. “I am committing my administration to fully cooperate with law enforcement investigators. Yesterday, I ordered an audit of all no-bid contracts awarded to Mr. Choy’s companies both current and past.”

Victorino issued a video statement but declined an interview to answer media questions.

Meanwhile, Bissen said he does not think corruption is widespread in the county.

“I think the public should be assured that the vast majority of people who seek public office are good, hardworking people who are trying to better their community,” said Bissen.

“We got to believe in that, that’s what gives us hope.”

Choy and Stant are expected to plead guilty in federal court on Monday.

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