Episode # 6 Corruption comes ashore to Maui
Welcome to Maui Real News. I’m your Host bradah Chris.
At Maui Real News we are dedicated to keeping it real. And, giving it to you straight. It may be pilau. It may stink, but we want to get the stink out. Clean house. Bring it out into the air where we can breathe clean again.
Our County Officials are seen as leaders. They need to represent what is good and true, what is our best, and what is pono, especially to the youth? Corruption in government?
No way, no need, no like, no can.
We cannot be like the three monkeys.
PICTURE – SEE NO EVIL HEAR NO EVIL SPEAK NO EVIL
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INSERT MATRIX PICTURE HERE OF BLUE AND RED PILL
As the character Morpheus in the movie the Matrix said, “You take the blue pill…the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill…you stay in Wonderland, and we show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
INSERT PICTURE OF THE RABBIT HOLE
If you’re still watching, welcome to Wonderland.
In this episode we invite you to take a red pill look at Mayor Victorino and his Administration.
But first, a disclaimer:
But first, a disclaimer: In Hawaii it is not legal to eaves drop and secretly record a conversation you are not participating in. However, anyone participating in a conversation can legally record that conversation even if the others don’t know the recording is being made. We’re going to play for you some audio clips from conversations with Mayor Victorino that were legally recorded by participants in those conversations
INSERT PICTURE OF STATEMENT OF FEDERAL CORRUPTION WITH A QUESTION MARK THROUGH IT
On Sept 16th Mayor Victorino released this statement about the Federal Corruption charges against a former County Official. (Clip)“I strongly condemn public corruption in all forms. I cannot, and I will not, tolerate such betrayals of public trust.”
Now here’s a clip recorded by Sam Small, the Director of Maui Causes of a conversation with Mike Victorino two weeks before he was sworn in as Mayor.
Starting with :13 I know Pat Wong. I know a lot about his life.
Cut to :24-:46 I know David Goode, I know the Shit he pulled…because I don’t need you.”
Just weeks later Mayor Victorino nominated both David Goode to be his Director of Public Works and Patrick Wong to be his Corporation Counsel, that is, the Director of the Dept. of County Government Attorneys.
I didn’t know about this audio, but, I did know that Mr. Goode was not good. At the time of his nomination Goode’s unlawful manipulation of the 2015 Upcountry Water Bill had just come to light.
When they voted to approve the bill, the Council members stated that they believed they were approving infrastructure improvement exemptions as a courtesy for upcountry resident who’d been waiting for water meters for over 16 years.
In fact, Mr. Goode and Dept. of Government Attorneys had changed the bill to include exempting commercial developers and large landowners, like A&B, island-wide, so you, the taxpayer would pay for their infrastructure obligations. More on that in another episode.
The Mayor was made aware of this, but, obviously didn’t care.
It took County residents working closely with progressive Council members to successfully defeat Mr. Goode’s nomination.
On to the Dept. of Government Attorneys, led by the Corporation Counsel, Patrick Wong.
In this next clip, The Mayor-elect is speaking to a man with Sam Small and Chris Salem, who he is hiring to legislative loopholes which many past administrations used to enrich developers at the Taxpayer’s expense.
Mr. Salem, has both the professional building expertise and public government experience, as well as decades of valuable work product to bring to this the Mayor’s administration
In this clip, Chris, who will later become a Whistleblower within Victorino’s administration, asks the Mayor why we aren’t holding Administration Directors and County Officials accountable, when it is clearly established that they violated the County Charter.
1:09 “I think the Council’s always been afraid to open that pandora’s box. Once you open one, everything else may come-up.”
The Mayor then goes on to acknowledge that because Corporation Counsel represents both the Administration and the Maui County Counsel, they have a lot of power. They can pick and choose who they defend from litigation. And, as such, they can intimidate Councilmembers to advance whatever may be their own agenda.
1:40 “In my mind, We were always told too, that if you go against us. If you go against us. You’re on your own.”
2:03-2:10 Sam “We know the intimidation” Mayor “Yeah, Thank you. I think that’s always been an 800 pound gorilla in the room”
2:31 “Until that is thoroughly addressed, it’s still the 800 pound gorilla in the room”
Well, the Mayor, to everyone’s surprise, re-nominated that gorilla, Pat Wong, to be his Corporation Counsel, and sadly, despite evidence of possible wrongdoing, the Council approved his nomination.
Later, if you recall, Mr. Wong was forced to resign, after a domestic violence incident against his girlfriend for which he was arrested, and never charged.
But, that is not the end of the story. And in another Whistleblower episode, we will explain how Mr. Wong prevented the County from assessing and collecting upon millions of dollars owed by developers to the County. For now, will reveal that the evidence suggests that Pat Wong prevented the Sand Hill lots at Palama Drive from being turned into Federal Tax Credit Affordable Housing. A proposal worked on over year with Mr. Wong’s office which would have settled a case by the developer against the County, and a proposal, it appears now, Pat conveniently concealed from the Council. Instead, Mr. Wong advised the County to buy back the land from the Developer at a cost of approximately 13 million dollars.
Yup, that’s your tax dollars hard at work. Why would he do that? At that time Mr. Salem and his associates, experts in affordable housing, had spent over $75,000 to develop a plan and got the approval of the developer to do it. Their plan pioneered using Federal Tax credits to provide affordable housing, just like what is finally, more than a decade later, being done now in Kihei. Thanks to Councilmember Kelly King. But, this could have started way back then.
What we do know is that Mr. Wong declared in his financial disclosures that he earned between $250,000 and $500,000 (see MauiTime weekly article) two years in a row…in Vegas. And, what we also know is that Mr. Wong when asked during his nomination proceedings for his tax records said he couldn’t find those records. And, yet not one Councilmember told him to go get them from the IRS. Getting the picture?
And that same Council approved his nomination. Well, NEWS FLASH: Mr. Salem, who has filed a suit against the Mayor and his Planning Director McLean, for retaliating against him for blowing the whistle on the Greg Brown Development violations, and other alleged fraud, including Pat Wong and the Affordable Housing Proposal for Palama Drive, is now subpoenaing those tax records from Patrick Wong.
INSERT: PICTURE OF SOMEONE BLOWING A WHISTLE
We elect Mayors and Councilmembers and yet it always seems to be dedicated County Residents who blow the whistle. It is residents who have to follow through while being beaten-up financially, psychologically, and professionally by guess who? None other than our own County Government attorneys of the Dept of the Corporation Counsel who routinely defend the unlawful actions of County Officials, under the color-of-law, saying it is their job to “defend the County”. Not from unlawful actions stupid. Going back to 2000 with Christina Hemming and Montana Beach in 2000 and then there was Pu u’kahana, Olowalu, Palama Drive, and now Christopher Salem in 2022 addressing decades old corruption.
If Mr. Wong and his associates are watching, these shows are pre-recorded. And if a U.S. Attorney and the FBI are watching, it’s all in government records, hiding in plain sight. You can contact us at MauiRealNews@gmail.com
Sam Small of Maui Causes questioned the Mayor about the fraud that Christopher Salem has been trying to expose for two decades regarding allegations of violations of County and State Environmental law by Developer Lot 48A, LLC and and their engineering firm consultant, Unemori Engineering. These violations, which I have personally investigated as a paralegal going back to 2013 have, in fact, been covered-up by the County, and caused Mr. Salem to lose his property and his home which he spent his life savings to build for his family.
I should add that in addition to his professional qualifications, Mr. Salem has been both a coach and the director of youth sports programs in Lahaina for over two decades. He is presently the ……
I say this because one of the overused tactics of the Department of the Corporation Counsel is to make rude, abusive and disparaging remarks about Whistleblowers exposing them and the unlawful acts of the County Officials whom they represent. To me, it really seems like the Mob representing the mob.
In his conversation with the then Mayor Elect, Sam Small concluded by saying:
2:50 “how long can the County persist with that poisoned fruit laying a bedrock of destruction over everything that happens.
3:14 “the ongoing cover-up gets deeper and deeper and deeper.
INSERT STATEMENT: A PERSONAL NOTE
Mayor Victorino, you promised you would clean-up decades old corruption which poisons the well of County Government, but you haven’t.
As to Mr. Salem’s claims, you said:
5:22-27 There is a definite…I hate to use the word collusion, but there is… 5:31-5:33 there are other words I could use that are not nice
Let me repeat that “There is a definite…I hate to use the word collusion, but there is…there are other words I could use that are not nice.”
And as you stated about Corporation Counsel when you were Mayor Elect:
7:34-7:45 ”Instead of trying to really settle the issue, they continue to fight the issue.”
And now, almost two years later, as Mayor, and now as their boss, you have continued to allow Corporation Counsel to fight the issue.
I am not an attorney Mr. Mayor, but I can tell you what is most obvious. County Attorneys are not allowed to conceal unlawful acts which they are fully aware of, by County Officials; which includes themselves as County Officials as well.
So, you said if you see something, say something. And then one of your own loyal public servants did just that…and you fired him for it. And the collusion between the County, the Developer and the Engineering firm, in that matter, you continue to conceal. You said you won’t tolerate those who betray the public trust. But, Mr. Mayor isn’t that what you’re doing. Haven’t you betrayed that trust?
That is now for you the viewer, the Islander, the resident and the citizen of the County of Maui, to decide for yourself.
SOME SUITABLE UPLIFTING PICTURE OF STANDING UP
So, stand by, stand back, stand down….No, that’s not right. That’s not it.
Stand-up for Honest Government Maui County.
Until next time. We’re keeping it real, and giving it to you straight.
Just the way you like it.
A hui Kaua.
Aloha mai e