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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 5:58 p.m., Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Former liquor inspector pleads guilty to conspiracy

Advertiser Courts Writer

A former Honolulu Liquor Commission inspector pleaded guilty this afternoon to a plot to extort the operators of two nightclubs.

James Rodenhurst, 57, who was on leave from his job, but who resigned today, pleaded guilty to the federal conspiracy charge, which carries up to 20 years in prison.

He was charged last year as a result of a massive FBI wiretap investigation that resulted in gambling, drug and other charges. In addition to Rodenhurst, five police officers and Herbert Naone, former head of security at Aloha Stadium, were indicted on federal felony charges. About 30 others were also charged.

Naone, Rodenhurst's codefendant in the extortion case, pleaded guilty earlier and is awaiting sentencing.

Rodenhurst admitted that he got money in exchange for providing information such as when liquor inspectors would go to the nightclubs.

He also admitted he received at least $2,000 from Naone.

Federal Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren scheduled Rodenhurst sentencing before U. S. District Judge David Ezra for Aug. 6.

Reach Ken Kobayashi at kkobayashi@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8030.