If the twice-delayed extradition hearing of Waipake resident Gary J. Baldwin occurs today at 2 p.m. as scheduled, the state will have to prove three things:
– The man present in court is indeed the Gary James Baldwin wanted for alleged crimes of theft and fraud involving an eye surgeon in Phoenix, Ariz;
– That the crimes are felony offenses;
– That the state of Arizona is demanding Baldwin be brought to Maricopa County, Ariz., to answer those allegations.
The state has written proof Arizona officials want to take Baldwin to answer charges of theft and fraud contained in a sealed indictment in Maricopa County, Ariz.
The indictment remains sealed from 1986 because it was never served on Baldwin. The crimes he is charged with are felony offenses in Arizona.
Baldwin was arrested at home Monday morning on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and in Arizona is charged with four counts of felony theft and a felony fraud count.
Baldwin’s hearing was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but there was no room on any state court docket. It was supposed to have been held yesterday, but his attorney, Philip Lowenthal of Maui, had to be in court on the Valley Isle.
Lowenthal is apparently the only one other than Honolulu Police Department officials who have seen or spoken to Baldwin since he was flown to O’ahu Monday morning in the custody of agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Lowenthal was in court on Maui yesterday, and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Baldwin’s options at the hearing are to either waive (allow) or fight extradition.
According to Jim Fulton, spokesman for the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney with the City and County of Honolulu, even if Baldwin waives extradition (agrees to be escorted to Arizona to answer charges there), Baldwin is likely to remain in custody in Honolulu for a few weeks while paperwork moves and Arizona officials arrange airline flights for Baldwin’s extradition.
If Baldwin fights the extradition proceedings, he’ll have a right to bail, and could request that bail be set, Fulton said. The state could argue that if Baldwin allegedly left another state to avoid prosecution, he may be a flight risk in Hawai’i, and ask that bail not be allowed, Fulton added.
In order for Baldwin to be handed over to Maricopa County officials, Gov. Ben Cayetano would have to sign and issue a warrant of arrest, something Fulton said he thinks the governor would almost certainly do if one were presented to him, despite Cayetano’s personal relationship with Baldwin.
Baldwin was Cayetano’s first appointee to the Hawaii Tourism Authority board, representing Kaua’i, and Baldwin during the HTA’s formative years functioned in a budget-making capacity before the early HTA had any paid staff.
Baldwin was also a two-time appointee to the Kaua’i Planning Commission, and served as chairman during portions of those terms. He was appointed by Mayor Maryanne Kusaka.
There is the possibility that information will become part of the formal court record today about Arthur Jackson’s involvement in locating Baldwin. According to an affidavit the court has in its possession, Jackson was a close personal friend of Baldwin’s when the alleged theft and fraud were perpetrated.
When reached by telephone at his office in Georgia, Jackson said he was spokesman for Dr. David Dulaney, the Phoenix, Ariz. eye surgeon allegedly duped out of over $300,000 by Baldwin in a private-jet deal gone sour in Colorado.
“The matter with Mr. Baldwin is very serious. Everyone involved is pleased that it is now in the hands of the legal authorities. Unfortunately, we’ve been advised to make no further comment at this time,” said Jackson, speaking for Dulaney.
“I’m basically Dr. Dulaney’s spokesman on the matter, and whether I found him or anyone else found him, it’s not anything we can go into at this stage. All that will come out in due time,” Jackson said yesterday morning.
“I can say with certainty this is the same Gary Baldwin,” that is in custody in Honolulu and whom Jackson was acquainted with in Colorado in the mid-1980s, he said.
“From what I’ve read in the paper, he’s done some very good things for Hawai’i. It’s just that he has this issue from the past that has finally resurfaced,” Jackson said.
Jackson is a registered private investigator, but not an active private investigator. And he wasn’t a private investigator when the work of this case was being done, he said.
The matter is scheduled to be heard in Honolulu before First Circuit Court Judge Reynaldo D. “Rey” Graulty, a former member of the state Legislature, at 2 p.m. today.
Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:email@example.com or 245-3681 (ext. 224).