Juror illness halts Rodrigues trial
The trial of United Public Workers union leader Gary Rodrigues in federal court on fraud charges was suspended yesterday after one of the jurors reported a medical condition that he said his doctor felt needed immediate attention.
The juror's name and ailment were not disclosed publicly, but Judge David Ezra told the other jurors that he had no choice but to suspend the trial yesterday and today.
Because Ezra is scheduled to hear other legal issues on Monday, the Rodrigues trial will not resume until Tuesday.
The federal prosecutor assigned to the case and Rodrigues' lawyer made their opening statements on Wednesday.
Ezra yesterday revised original estimates downward and said he expects the trial to take no more than 15 to 20 days in court.
Investigator faces jail in sex assault
A former investigator with the city prosecutor's office has been ordered to spend 15 days in jail in connection with the sexual assault of two women.
Circuit Judge Derrick Chan ordered Michael K. Blakeley to the jail time Sept. 27 after Blakeley pleaded no contest to three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. Blakeley acknowledged having sexual contact without the women's consent, according to the attorney general's office.
Chan granted Blakeley's request for a deferred acceptance of his plea, which means his record will be wiped out if he stays out of trouble for a set period. Sexual assault in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to a year in prison.
Probation revoked in welfare fraud
A Circuit Court judge has revoked the probation of a former Honolulu woman who was convicted in 2000 of theft.
Leeann K. Anies, also known as Leeann K. Purdy, was placed on five years' probation in December 2000 for fraudulently obtaining more than $74,000 in welfare. From 1994 to 1999, Anies concealed from welfare authorities that her husband lived in her home and was employed, according to the attorney general's office.
Anies was convicted of one count of first-degree theft and placed on probation. But the attorney general's office said Anies failed to keep appointments with her probation officer and did not make monthly restitution payments.
A bench warrant was issued, and she was arrested in Las Vegas in June. On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Wilfred Watanabe granted a state's motion to order Anies to one year in prison and five additional years of probation.