Ex-Water Department supervisor fined

A former County of Kaua’i Department of Water supervisor will be on probation for five years and must do 500 hours of community service for misusing county resources worth more than $300. He must also pay $636.18 in restitution and $5,250 in fines.

Lee Don “Kahea” White, 47, of Anahola, was sentenced Thursday in Fifth Circuit Court for theft in the second degree after being found guilty by Judge Clifford L. Nakea in a bench trial Feb. 5. The 500 hours must be completed by Sept. 30, 2007.

It was found that in September 1999 White ordered DOW employees to use materials and equipment to install water services on a lot on Waipouli Road. The job was privately contracted to his company, White Tractor and Farm, for $2,600. He was acquitted of the second charge of an indictment returned last March, falsifying business documents.

White is no longer employed by the Department of Water. He could have been sentenced to up to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

Mark Edward Vargas, who awaits trial for an attempted murder charge from 2001, should receive a hearing this week on evaluations completed earlier this year by a panel of three doctors.

Vargas, who has use of one arm and one leg, was accused of stabbing a man at the Kekaha low-income housing complex, where police reports stated that both men were residents.

In November 2001, a grand jury returned the charge of attempted murder after District Court Judge Trudy Senda charged Vargas with assault. The victim, who lived, was hospitalized at the Queen’s Medical Center on O’ahu for several weeks, according to earlier reports.

Vargas was set for trial last May, but then-defense attorney Erick Moon requested neuropsychological examinations. Trial has been postponed since then, with the three exams completed in about January. Since February, when Moon started working for the public defender’s office, Vargas is being represented by Caren Dennemeyer.

Also sentenced Thursday was Roy Rita, who was found guilty by jury trial in February for continuous sexual assault against a minor from 1999 to 2001.

Rita was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the Class A felony.

He was indicted in three separate cases in 2002. Rita was also found guilty in the remaining three charges, he was found guilty of a lesser offense, sexual assault in the third degree, for sexual contact, Class C felonies.

In 1986, Rita accepted a plea agreement after being indicted for sexual abuse in the first degree and was sentenced to one year in prison.

Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at kmanguchei@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 252).


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