Rod Tam sentencing delayed again

Former City Councilman Rod Tam’s sentencing on public corruption charges was delayed again after he was slapped with more public corruption charges.

Part-time District Judge Randal Shintani postponed Tam’s sentencing on 26 counts of overcharging the city for meals until Aug. 16 after Tam pleaded no contest to eight new state counts of violating campaign spending laws by misusing campaign funds and falsifying documents.

Tam’s sentencing has already been delayed several times since his guilty plea on the original charges in November.

As usual, Tam was less than contrite in admitting and accepting responsibility for his crimes. Nevertheless, he is asking the judge to defer acceptance of his pleas, which could allow him to walk away with no jail time and no permanent stain on his record. Previous corruption cases involving elected officials have almost always resulted in jail time.

The evidence is compelling that Tam used his city expense account and campaign fund as personal piggy banks, covering his tracks with phony receipts and, in at least one instance, an apparent outright forgery.

The city expense account case involves some $15,000 in overcharges for meals at Honolulu restaurants. The campaign spending case involves personal purchases at local stores using campaign money, unsubstantiated meal reimbursements and failure to report campaign contributions.

Tam could face up to 14 years in prison, but a sentence that stiff is highly unlikely.

For comparison, former Councilwoman Rene Mansho was sentenced to a year in jail in 2002 after pleading guilty to theft of $20,000 in city money and $300 from her campaign fund.

In a 2001 federal corruption case, former Councilman Andy Mirikitani was sentenced to four years and three months for taking some $6,000 in bonus kickbacks from staffers.

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3 Comments on “Rod Tam sentencing delayed again”

  1. Kolea Says:

    Rod should definitely do some jail time. It won’t cause HIM to see the error of his ways, but it will send a message to other elected officials. Anyone who has talked to Rod over the years will know he will see his sentence as the result of a conspiracy against him by powerful political forces because he stands up for “the People.”

    He has told me personally that a major political figure, who he named, had hired a professional hit man to take him out. Just because his district kept re-electing him to a string of political offices does not mean the fellow is not certifiably lolo.

    Slapping him with additional counts after he has agreed to plead no contest to the first batch of charges does strike me as unfair. If the prosecutor was upset because Rod did not display the proper degree of contrition, he does not understand Rod. Might as well get angry at a kid with a learning disability not grasping the class lesson. There is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the fellow’s mental processes.

    I seek not to excuse, but to explain.

  2. MynahBlog Says:

    Doing some time in the pokey didn’t slow down Rene Mansho. She’s now a lobbyist for Schnitzer Steel and just got there back-door “subsidy” bill (Bill 36) through the City Council. This bill offsets Bill 47 signed into law last week that took away Schnitzer’s bogus pay off. They have scammed the taxpayers of millions over the years ($1.9) alone last year, while demonstrating no need for the money. They simply add it to their already bursting profit margin.

  3. Teddy Freddy Says:

    Rod Tam is a clown and thus a convenient whipping boy who deserves the beating he is now getting. But you can be sure that any elected official who has been in office for more than two campaigns has made mistakes on their campaign spending reports. Prosocutors need to somehow separate the acts that had clear criminal intent and the other stuff that was most likely simply sloppy record keeping. Sloppy record keeping and thus sloppy reporting is common and I guess criminal. But come on – jail time and or further charges?

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