Sagum to plead not guilty

LIHU‘E — The attorney representing former state Rep. Roland Sagum said he believes the rock-theft charges against his client are based on “some misunderstandings,” and Sagum would plead not guilty at his arraignment in 5th Circuit Court today.

“Roland intends to plead not guilty to the charge against him (today), and once all information relating to the investigation is turned over, we are likely to file a motion to dismiss the charge against Roland,” said Craig De Costa in a statement Wednesday.

Sagum was the state representative for Kaua‘i’s 16th District (Koloa to Ni‘ihau) from 2006 to 2010, when he was defeated in the primary election by Dee Morikawa.

He was charged Tuesday with second-degree theft, a class C felony, for allegedly receiving rocks from a historic preserve and heiau site in the summer of 2011.

Also on Tuesday, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Lealiki Koli, for second-degree theft and second-degree criminal property damage, both class C felonies, concerning the same incident.

According to the Office of Prosecuting Attorney, between June 27 and July 4, 2011, several truckloads of rocks — valued at approximately $6,000 — were allegedly removed from a property owned by Kukui‘ula Development Company and maintained by the Royal Order of Kamehameha I.

The rocks were then allegedly used to build a rock wall on Sagum’s property, according to the OPA.

Additionally, the charges allege mechanical equipment used at the preserve caused an estimated $7,000 in damages. A cultural survey was done to determine the extent of the damage to the historic site, according to the OPA.


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