Former Hawaii Senator sentenced to 40 months in prison for accepting bribes

Ex-Hawaii Senator J. Kalani English (D) was sentenced to a little over three years in prison this week for accepting bribes while in office in exchange for influencing legislation.

Earlier this year, English pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a local businessman in order to shape lawmaking efforts in a way that would benefit a certain company that is involved in cesspool conversion projects, according to the Associated Press.

A sentencing memo penned by US prosecutors says English “peddled the power and influence of his position as a Hawaii State Senator and Majority Leader to enrich himself and betray the trust bestowed upon him by those he was elected to serve.”

While US attorneys asked for a three and a half year sentence for English, his own attorney, Richard Sing, asked for only 2 and a half. The final sentence of 40 months, handed down by Hawaii District Judge Susan Mollway, also requires English to pay a fine of $100,000. He must report to a federal detention center no later than August 16 of this year. At the end of his sentence, he will be placed under one year of supervised release.

According to the sentencing memo, English accepted about $18,000 in bribes from the business owner, referred to as “Person A,” in the form of cash and hotel rooms in 2019. “What you have done here is so serious, so detrimental to the fabric of society, that surely a serious sentence is warranted,” said Judge Holloway.

Former Hawaii Rep. Ty Cullen (D) was also charged separately in relation to the same bribery scheme.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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