James Pflueger with his attorneys in court Oct. 15, 2014
James Pflueger with his attorneys in court Oct. 15, 2014
James Pflueger flanked by his attorneys in court Oct. 15, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was the entire prepared statement read by retired auto dealer Jimmy Pflueger today before he was sentenced on a “Reckless Endangering” charge for causing the deaths of 7 people at Ka Loko when a dam owned by both he and his family trust breached on March 14, 2006. He cried upon the opening and closing of his statement but did not take responsibility for the breach or apologize to the families of the victims. His company, 808 Properties, took legal responsibility for the 7 manslaughter charges. Those charges were originally filed against Pflueger. HIs company was ordered to pay $1000 for each of the people who died. He will also serve 7 months in prison and be on probation for another 5 years. He was accused of covering the dam’s main safety feature, its spillway, leading to the dam’s breach after more than 40 days of rain.

“As a father who has lost two sons, one as a young child and the other as an adult, I know there are no words that can ever express the tremendous grief for their loss. I know no amount of money from the civil lawsuit can ever compensate their loss. My heart goes out to all of you.

“There is not a day that goes by that I am not reminded of this tragedy. I sincerely believed that I could be warned – that I could warn the state Public Utilities Commission of the Kilauea Irrigation Company’s failure to maintain the irrigation system. Tragically, however, my constant calls over the years were ignored.

“Little did I know that buying Ka Loko was like buying a can of worms. Never did the people of C. Brewer who I thought were my friends ever disclose to me the many problems within the irrigation system.

“There is a lot of pain in this court room today for all of us.

“Since that horrible day on March 14, 2006, there has been 8 years of headache for my family.

“I have sold nearly all my assets to pay for the legal and settlement costs.

“Your honor, thank you for allowing me …t thank you for allowing me to speak. And I hope that somehow some way we can get closure to this tragedy. Thank you.”

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