Andy Mirikitani, My Hero
BY SHARRON MIRIKITANI - In an age when few women would classify the man they married as their hero, I am proud to say that my husband is my hero. As a public servant, he dedicated his life to making a Hawaii a better place to live. He was a modern day crusader, who fought hard against the illegal activities of the sex industry, illegal gambling and prostitution in Hawaii. He fought for programs and drafted legislation that protected women, families, children, and the elderly, the homeless, and even feral cats.
There were those in positions of power and influence who feared his tenacity and wanted him out of the political arena. There were numerous efforts made to either control him or get him out of office. He refused to be bought or bribed. He remained an independent representative of the people he served. In the end, two employees who claimed they gave him a kickback of $6,884.00 from their salaries trapped him. His valiant career as a crusader has been overshadowed by the successful vendetta of two employees.
His trusted senior aide, Cindy McMillan, gave him a $4,000 campaign contribution, which is perfectly legal under the law. It became illegal when she was convinced that she had committed an illegal act and could be prosecuted if she didn't cooperate and testify against Andy. She was given immunity for her cooperation and testimony. She quickly appeared to benefit by her cooperation and was given a choice position with one of the mayor's favorite consultants. Later, she was appointed to Councilmember Duke Barnum’s staff. Shortly thereafter, she became a Director for Pacific Communications. Her husband, an attorney, couldn't keep a job and is now serving as a State Representative.
In December 1999, Andy had fired the second employee, Jonn Serikawa, because his work attendance had been erratic for months. A few months prior, Jonn hit elderly woman pedestrian in a crosswalk while driving Andy's van. The impact smashed the windshield and dented the hood of the van. He never paid Andy for the damages and Andy was ridiculed publicly in the newspaper. At trial, he claimed he gave Andy over $2,000 in cash as a 'kickback'.
During the trial we discovered that Jonn had a number of drug convictions, which he failed to report on his employment application. He admitted to doing drugs while on Andy's staff and was doing drugs up until 10 days before the trial. He had a wife and daughter and a lot to loose if he was given another drug charge. He was given immunity in return for his cooperation and testimony.
During this same period of time Andy's personal secretary, opened a charge account in the name of the City Council and charged over $10,000 in merchandise that she had shipped to her personal residence. The FBI did NOTHING! She claimed to be dating an FBI agent. She blatantly stole monies from the same general fund of the City, and should have been subjected to the same charges, but is FREE! She even had the nerve to show up at our trial!
The judge blatantly favored the Government. She knew my husband personally and should have recused herself, but didn't. Andy Mirikitani served a 51-month sentence at FPC Nellis in Nevada and a prison camp in Louisiana. He self surrendered on January 17, 2001, and was schedule for release September 28, 2005. There was a period of time when he was released because of a supreme court decision and his case was sent back to the judge for review who confirmed the sentence.
I was found guilty because the two employees said I knew about it. I never testified on my behalf, because I felt we were convicted before we even entered the courtroom. At sentencing, I told the judge how I felt. I self surrendered to the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas no January 17, 2001 and was released on July 25, 2003. My appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court was denied. I have filed and appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. That appeal was also denied.
Andy is living in Texas, and completed two years supervised release in May 2009.
Those who gathered on the side of opposition, and helped destroy Andy's career, continue to prosper.
J. Michael Seabright sworn in as Federal Judge on January 16, 2005 http://archives.starbulletin.com/2005/06/16/news/story4.html
Cindy McMillan was given a position with Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc., a favored consultant to Mayor Jeremy Harris, shortly after our sentencing. Cindy McMillan joined Communications Pacific (CommPac) in 2002. She now heads the company’s community building practice as senior vice president and managing director. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cindy-mcmillan/7/a87/a46
Democrat Karl Rhoads, JD ’96, was elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives. He is vice chair of the Committee on Human Services & Housing and also serves on the committees on Finance, Health, and International Affairs.http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/site1/House/Members/Rep28.asp After receiving his law degree, Rhoads and his wife, Cindy McMillan, moved to Hawaii, where he worked as a summer clerk for Intermediate Court of Appeals Judge Corinne K.A. Watanabe, practiced law, and served for six legislative sessions as an assistant to Hawaii Rep. Marilyn Lee. Previously Rhoads interned in the office of U.S. Sen. John Kerry and was a legislative aide to U.S. Reps. Louise Slaughter and Eliot Engel. Citation source: GW Magazine http://members.webs.com/MembersB/createParagraph.jsp?token=414e89b0a73db56c123417b8bae&pageID=4398378¶graphID=6198756
Jonn Serikawa aka John Serikawa, in 2006 is found working for Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas Inc., the same favored consultant that hired Cindy McMillen sortly after our sentencing. In 2007, he was working as a staff position by Representive Carl Rhoades and was his clerk on the Human Services and Housing Committee. Jonn Serikawa has no problem with political payout by a US Congressional candidate.
Newspaper Articles on Our Federal Case
Grand Jury Testimony http://starbulletin.com/2000/03/10/news/story7.html
EEO complaint by ex-employees http://starbulletin.com/2000/06/30/news/story6.html
Mirikitani refuses to release EEO report http://starbulletin.com/2000/07/03/news/briefs.html
Mirikitani blocks release of EEO report http://starbulletin.com/2000/07/06/news/story5.html
Mirikitani indicted http://starbulletin.com/2000/11/09/news/story4.html
Foe of Corruption http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/2000/Nov/12/1112localnews13.html
Pleaded Not Guilty http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/2000/Nov/18/1118localnews13.html
Trial begins http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/12/news/story6.html
Mirikitani Aide testifies http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/14/news/story7.html
Witnesses Bolster Mirikitani Aide in Trial - Jonn Serikawa
Serikawa Testifies http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/15/news/story6.html
Secret FBI tape http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/20/news/story4.html
Mirikitani Testifies http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/21/news/story6.html
Mirikitani denies seeking kickbacks http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/22/news/story6.html
Mirikitani denies deal with Aides http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/23/news/story4.html
Tantalus Tapes http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/25/features/memminger.html
Mirikitani testifies http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/27/news/story7.html
Mirikitani Defense http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/29/news/story4.html
Jury instructed to stay away from media http://starbulletin.com/2001/06/30/news/story7.html
Peers support Mirikitani http://starbulletin.com/2001/07/04/news/story3.html
Guilty verdict http://starbulletin.com/2001/07/04/news/story1.html
Some advocate requesting the judge speed up the sentencing http://starbulletin.com/2001/07/06/news/story3.html
Mirikitani refuses to resign http://starbulletin.com/2001/07/10/news/story2.html
Recall attempt http://starbulletin.com/2001/07/11/editorial/editorials.html
Campaign Spending Violations http://www.honoluluweekly.com/archives/coverstory%202001/07-11-01%20Camp/07-11-01%20Camp.html
Mirikitani refuses to resign http://starbulletin.com/2001/07/12/news/story10.html
Letters to the Editor http://starbulletin.com/2001/07/13/editorial/letters.html
HUD Wants Mirikitani barred http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2001/08/20/daily53.html
Pension Benefits http://www.smallbusinesshawaii.com/2001/Aug3.html
From Saint to Sinner http://starbulletin.com/2001/08/05/news/story1.html
Sentenced to 51 months http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2001/12/03/daily49.html
Marriage Criticized http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2001/Dec/04/ln/ln01a.html
Sentencing Postponed http://starbulletin.com/2001/12/05/news/story4.html
Biased Reporting http://ilind.net/diary/oct_4_02.html
#9 of the Top Ten Stories for 2002 http://www.ohanamagazine.com/marapr2003/feature.html
Sharron's Appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court http://www.mayolawclinic.com/cases/documents/USvBynum9thCir4-30-03.pdf PDF File
Sharron Loses Appeal in Circuit Court http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/daily/2003/May-01-Thu-2003/news/news6.html
Mark Bennett, attorney for Cindy McMillan was appointed Attorney General for The State of Hawaii http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2003/Feb/19/ln/ln08a.html http://www.state.hi.us/ag/ag_mark_bennett_bio.htm http://www.hawaii.gov/gov/Members/steveb/news/nr-AG.html
J. Michael Seabright, Assistant U.S. Attorney is on the Disciplinary Board for The Supreme Court of Hawaii and is Chief of the White Collar Crime Unit in Hawaii http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/offices/personnel/HI.html
Cartoons by Pritchett
Family Money http://www.pritchettcartoons.com/andy.htm
City Counsel Fashion Show http://www.pritchettcartoons.com/fashion.htm
Mayor Harris and Mansho read with disgust http://www.pritchettcartoons.com/mirikitani.htm
Father, Carl Mamoru Mirikitani (deceased) http://hml.org/mmhc/mdindex/mirikitani.html
Paternal Uncle, Isami Mirikitani (deceased) http://hml.org/mmhc/mdindex/mirikita.html
Paternal Uncle, Clifford Kunio (deceased) http://hml.org/mmhc/mdindex/mirikitanic.html
Brother, Carl. K. Mirikitani (deceased) http://www.hawaii.edu/law/scholarships/
Paternal cousin, Janice Mirikitani http://www.glide.org/ourstories/janicemirikitani.asp
Paternal cousin, Alan Mirikitani http://www.buddaheads.com/leader.html
Direct questions, comments, or broken links to: email@example.com
Short URL: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/?p=23057