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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Second ex-officer enters plea in theft case

By David Waite
Advertiser Staff Writer

A second former Honolulu police officer has pleaded no contest to theft charges for accepting pay for hours he did not work while assigned to the police detail at Honolulu International Airport from early to mid-1999.

Under the terms of an agreement with the state attorney general's office, James M. Duarte, a former administrative sergeant of the Honolulu Police Department's airport detail, will pay back about $9,700.

Deputy Attorney General Christopher Young said Duarte, 51, will be required to pay $4,000 when he is sentenced Dec. 7 and will be given two years to pay back the remaining $5,700.

Young told Circuit Judge Richard Perkins that had the case gone to trial, evidence would show that Duarte was paid for eight days of work when he did not show up at all, and that he arrived late on 93 occasions between Feb. 16 and July 28, 1999.

The discrepancy in Duarte's pay was uncovered during an audit undertaken by the state Department of Transportation to look into high overtime costs.

The transportation department previously contracted with the police department to provide security services at the airport but has since switched to the state Sheriff's Office to provide the service.

The plea agreement also calls for Duarte to perform 250 hours of community service.

On Friday, Felito Laboy Jr., a retired police officer with more than 30 years service who was in charge of the airport police detail during the period in question, pleaded no contest to theft charges for accepting more that $13,000 in pay for time he did not work.

Laboy also has agreed to make restitution and his plea agreement calls for 400 hours of community service.

Both former police officers asked that they be granted deferred acceptance of no contest pleas , which would mean no criminal record would result from their theft convictions if they stay out of trouble for a prescribed amount of time.