Hawaii Crime Boss Busted for Racketeering, Murder; Infiltrated Teamster Local

Organized crime has been a dominant if often hidden reality in Hawaii for decades. But at least for now one of its most violent sociopaths is out of commission. On July 15, Michael Miske Jr., was arrested at his oceanfront home in Kailua, Oahu Island and charged in Honolulu federal court, along with 10 other […]

AFSCME Puts Corrupt Hawaii Local in Trusteeship; Removes State Director

Hawaii’s United Public Workers has entered a new era. And it isn’t the kind its leaders were counting on. On May 1, Lee Saunders, president of the union’s parent organization, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, placed the local under trusteeship. The previous day, AFSCME trial officers had removed UPW Hawaii State […]

AFSCME Audit of Hawaii Affiliate Reveals Suspicious Spending

The reputation of United Public Workers, never all that favorable, has taken another hit. This February, an internal audit prepared by the parent union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), concluded that officials of the 13,000-member Hawaii affiliate spent more than $300,000 (and possibly a good deal more) on unauthorized or […]

Hawaii IBEW Boss, Family Members Indicted for $1.4M in Thefts

At International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260, stealing was a family business. And business hasn’t been good lately. On August 22, a Honolulu federal court unsealed a 70-count indictment against Brian Ahakuelo, former business manager for the Honolulu local, along with his wife and a sister-in-law, for conspiracy, money laundering, wire fraud and embezzlement […]

Hawaii Boss Sues Former Union; Says He’s Not Liable for Debt

Gary Rodrigues left a long legacy as director of the United Public Workers, a Hawaii affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. A good portion of that legacy involved criminal activity, which is why for the past year he’s been residing in federal prison. In the interim, some unrelated business has […]

Judge Orders Hawaii Father, Daughter to Serve Sentences

Gary Rodrigues and his daughter, Robin Rodrigues Sabatini, don’t know the meaning of the word “quit.” In their case, that’s not such an admirable trait. Back in 2002, the two were convicted in federal court on nearly 200 charges of criminal misconduct, including embezzlement, mail fraud and money-laundering, in connection with the disappearance of nearly […]