Investigative Reporter Jim Dooley Joins Hawaii Reporter News Team

Jim Dooley - courtesy Hawaii SPJ
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Jim Dooley - courtesy Hawaii SPJ

Hawaii’s best known investigative reporter, Jim Dooley, has joined the Hawaii Reporter news team.

A print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, Dooley began as a wire service reporter with United Press International.


He joined The Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978.

While at City Hall, he broke stories that led to the indictment of Mayor Frank Fasi on bribery charges in the Kukui Plaza scandal.

He moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser in 1978, covering such subjects as:

• Local, national and international organized crime, including stories detailing for the first time the activities of yakuza in Hawaii and continental United States.

• Contracting fraud in city, state and federal government. Stories about cronyism in non-bid consultant contract awards led to state Senate hearings and overhaul of state procurement code.

• Secret land ownership huis in Hawaii whose members included political, judicial and criminal syndicate figures.

• Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools.

He also used the Freedom of Information Act to reveal million-dollar salaries of Estate trustees.

Dooley also is known for his stories on:

• Business ties between Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Herman Lum and Bishop Estate contributed to court’s decision to remove itself from trustee selection process; Con artists and swindlers;

• Organized crime activities by drivers in the Teamsters Union movie production unit. • Widespread fraud in the Hawaii industrial loan industry and the pre-need funeral plan business.

• Criminal activities of guards in Hawaii’s prison system.

His series of stories, written with Advertiser reporter David Waite, won the Gannett newspaper chain’s national public service award.

He joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter, and there, produced stories revealing contract cronyism at Honolulu International Airport; personal business ties between Bishop Estate trustees and real estate developers; Teamsters’ movie driver violence, including murder and arson. Covered the Circuit Court Bishop Estate trustee removal trial.

He helped initiate litigation by KITV and Honolulu Star Bulletin that unsealed Probate Court records filed by the Campbell Estate.

In 2001, he returned to the Advertiser, working as investigative reporter until 2008, at which time, he became the full-time court reporter.

There he initiated litigation by the Advertiser that unsealed federal court records detailing close ties between Honolulu Police Department Criminal Intelligence Unit officers and members of Hawaii organized crime.

To reach Jim Dooley, write to him at





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