Maui County Rocked by Corruption Scandal Involving Prominent Democratic Megadonor

Maui County, known for its picturesque landscapes and serene beaches, has been rocked by a corruption scandal that runs deep within its administrative structure.

The scandal raises serious questions about the integrity of the county’s contract awarding process, especially as Lahaina and other parts of Maui County are gearing up to rebuild after devastating fires.

The central figure in this scandal is Milton Choy, a prominent Democratic megadonor from Hawaii. Choy, the founder of H2O Process Systems, was recently sentenced to three years in prison for his involvement in a multi-million dollar bribery scheme.

This scheme, which spanned over six years, involved both state and county officials, exposing the depth of corruption in Maui County.

Honolulu District Court Judge Derrick Watson handed down a 41-month sentence to Choy, along with three years of supervised release.

The investigation revealed that Choy had spent more than $2 million bribing Stewart Stant, the former director of Maui’s Department of Environmental Management. In return, Choy received more than $19 million in no-bid contracts, highlighting the extent of the corruption.

However, the corruption didn’t stop there. Choy also bribed former Hawaii state lawmakers J. Kalani English and Ty Cullen, both of whom have been found guilty and sentenced to Federal prison for Honest Services Wire Fraud.

This revelation further underscores the pervasive nature of corruption in the county’s political landscape.

Choy’s sentencing came on Tuesday, Aug. 29, in Honolulu Federal Court. Throughout the case, Choy cooperated with law enforcement investigators, a move his lawyer, Michael Green, stated would continue until the very end.

Both the prosecution and the judge acknowledged that Choy’s ongoing cooperation played a significant role in bringing corrupt officials to justice.

However, Choy’s influence extended beyond the confines of Maui County. According to KHON 2, Choy and his affiliates have donated well over $300,000 in “legal” donations to various Democratic officials’ campaigns.

Donation records recorded by Open Secrets reveal Choy even donated to political PACs outside of Hawaii. In October 2018, he donated $10,000 to the Democratic Party of California.

This scandal serves as a stark reminder of the deep-seated corruption that can infiltrate even the most idyllic locales.

As Maui County looks to rebuild, it must also work to restore trust in its institutions and ensure corruption does not taint its future. The residents of Maui County deserve nothing less.

This article appeared in FreshOffThePress and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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