Honolulu building inspector pleads not guilty in bribe case

HONOLULU — A Honolulu building inspector pleaded not guilty Tuesday to allegations he took bribes in exchange for favors, including nullifying a Waikiki building code violation.

Jason Dadez is among five former and current employees of the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting U.S. prosecutors say took bribes from architects, contractors and others.

A Honolulu architect and a building plans examiner pleaded guilty last week. Kanani Padeken said she took at least $28,000 in bribes from architect William Wong, who also admitted to paying about $89,000 in bribes to a now-retired examiner. After she pleaded guilty to honest services wire fraud, the city fired her, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said.

The department “and its operating practices needs a complete overhaul,” he said in a statement last week. “The type of culture that allowed criminal behavior is completely unacceptable and we owe it to the public to ensure it will not happen again.”

Dadez allegedly took bribes from an architect who owned a building in Waikiki. In exchange, Dadez provided favors, including nullifying a code violation at the building, an indictment alleges. Prosecutors also accuse him of other favors in exchange for bribes, including processing two applications for a wall sign at a Waipahu restaurant and processing permit applications for a solar contractor.

Dadez, who remains on paid leave pending the outcome of his case, is scheduled to go to trial in June.

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