State roundup for February 8
Prison warden facing lawsuits
HONOLULU (AP) — A Kauai prison warden is accused of subjecting incarcerated women to sexual humiliation and harassment.
A lawsuit by a former inmate alleges Kauai Community Correctional Center Warden Neal Wagatsuma forced women to describe their sexual pasts while male inmates filmed them. The inmate also claims Wagatsuma forced women to watch rape films.
A companion lawsuit by a former prison social worker says she was retaliated against for reporting the warden’s actions.
Attorney Margery Bronster, who represents both women, said litigation was necessary partly because there were no physical assaults to be investigated criminally. A Kauai police spokeswoman said the department isn’t aware of any criminal investigation into the allegations.
The state Department of Public Safety said Friday officials haven’t been served with the lawsuits and haven’t yet seen them.
Wagatsuma didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment left at a Lihue phone number listed for him and through the department’s spokeswoman.
Illegal fishing spurs citations
KAHULUI, Maui (AP) — The Department of Land and Natural Resources has issued 10 citations for illegal fishing activity in north Maui waters.
Two citations were issued to an offshore lay net fisher who caught nearly 300 pounds of fish at Kanaha Beach Park. Most of the fish caught by the lay net fisher were amaama or striped mullet. Lay net fishing is currently banned around Maui.
Other citations were for possession of an undersized kumu, or goatfish, and possession of an undersized octopus.
The alleged violations occurred in November. Department spokeswoman Deborah Ward said Thursday the agency doesn’t have figures for more recent citations.
The Maui-based Community Fisheries Enforcement Unit issued the citations with the help of other enforcement personnel from the department.
Hawaii flags to fly half-staff for slain soldier
HONOLULU (AP) — The governor is ordering that the United States and Hawaii flags be flown at half-staff in remembrance of an Army soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie says the flags will fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday.
Friday is the day of Chief Warrant Officer Edward Balli’s memorial service.
The governor’s office says 42-year-old Balli was from Kapolei.
He died last month of wounds from small arms fire when he was attacked by insurgents in Kandahar Province. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army Europe, Vilseck, Germany.
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