Jimmy Pfueger Surrenders, Dog Pays $71,000 Bail

from http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com

By Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

Retired car dealer Jimmy Pflueger, who was indicted last week in connection with the deadly collapse of the Kaloko Dam in 2006, surrendered to authorities this morning. TV star Duane Chapman, aka “Dog the Bounty Hunter” and a longtime friend of Pflueger, came with him to Halawa State Prison and posted the bail of $71,000.

Pflueger was booked and processed at the prison receiving desk, said Louise Kim McCoy, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety. He was freed after posting the bond. Pflueger, 82, was indicted by a Kaua’i grand jury on seven counts of manslaughter and one count reckless endangering for the March 14, 2006, tragedy that killed seven people on Kaua’i. Pflueger’s attorney, Bill McCorriston, said last week that Pflueger plans to plead not guilty to the charges.

Pflueger has previously denied that he altered the dam or its structure. Pflueger was accompanied by Chapman, attorney David Minkin and representatives of the state Attorney General’s Office this morning.  For more than two years, the Attorney General’s Office has been investigating allegations that Pflueger or others tampered with the dam, contributing to its collapse

A&E To Air Steven Seagal Reality Show. :(

A&E To Air ‘Steven Seagal: Lawman’

Reality show will document his duties as a sheriff’s deputy

By Marisa Guthrie — Broadcasting & Cable, 11/24/2008 5:13:00 PM

A&E is adding another unscripted series to its cops and criminals cannon.

The network is in production on a reality show starring big-screen, tough guy and real-life lawman Steven Seagal, who has been working as a deputy in the sheriff’s office in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana for nearly 20 years.

Seagal is also a martial arts expert and aspiring singer/songwriter.

Steven Seagal: Lawman will document his duties as a sheriff’s deputy which include responding to calls and also instructing his fellow Jefferson Parish deputies in hand-to-hand combat and riflery.

Produced for A&E by Granada America and Steamroller Films, the show is set to debut in late 2009.

Lawman joins an extensive roster of enforcement reality on A&E including Dog the Bounty Hunter, The First 48, Jacked: Auto Theft Task Force and the upcoming Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force, which premiers Dec. 9 at 10 p.m.

Dog Posts Bail For Man Whose Actions Allegedly Killing Eight People Including A Small Child

More details at http://www.hawaiiareporter.com

Jimmy Pflueger Indicted for Manslaughter for Kaloko Deaths
After today’s booking, Pflueger’s bail was posted by A&E Bounty Hunter Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman
By Malia Zimmerman, 11/24/2008 11:46:23 AM

LIHUE, KAUAI: A ferocious rainstorm hit Kauai Friday spurring a downpour predicted to be as heavy as the storm that hit the island in March 2006.

It was that storm that filled James Pflueger’s Ka Loko Reservoir until its dam breached in the early morning hours of March 14, releasing an estimated 400 million gallons of water on the North Shore residents below, killing eight people and causing tremendous property damage.

On Friday, as the skies darkened over Kauai, a grand jury met in secret inside the Kauai courthouse for its fourth straight day to hear evidence on the 2006 dam breach. At issue was whether Pflueger, a wealthy retired automobile mogul, willfully covered or altered his dam’s main safety feature, called a “spillway”, causing the water in the 30-acre Ka Loko Reservoir to overtop and breach the dam when the rising rainwater couldn’t be safely released.

Before noon, the grand jury issued an indictment against Pflueger for seven counts of Manslaughter and one count of Reckless Endangering in the First Degree. Pflueger turned himself in to authorities today for booking, and according to his civil attorney Bill McCorriston, will plead “not guilty” when arraigned at a later date on Kauai. His bail was posted on Kauai this morning by A&E Bounty Hunter Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman, a close family friend.

The indictments handed down against Pflueger mark a dramatic end to the two-and-a-half year criminal investigation led by Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett.

“We believe that the evidence justified the presentation to a grand jury of a case charging James Pfleuger with Manslaughter for recklessly causing the deaths of Alan Gareth Dingwall, Daniel Jay Arroyo, Rowan Grey Makana Fehring-Dingwall, Aurora Solveig Fehring, Christina Michelle McNees, Timothy Wendell Noonan, Jr., and Carl Wayne Rotstein,” Bennett says.

Aurora, Alan and Rowan

Chistina Sunny McNees

The indictments also caused many local observers to wonder how one of Hawaii’s most wealthy and powerful businessmen, who for most of his 84 years lived a lifestyle of the rich and famous, is charged with crimes that could land him in prison for the rest of his life.

Living High in Hawaii

Once one of Hawaii’s most well known “Waikiki Beach Boys”, Pflueger associated with the likes of Duke Kahanamoku and other famous surfers and paddlers from Waikiki’s Outrigger Canoe Club. As the grandson of Mary Nauepu Bannister Lucas, a Native Hawaiian taken in as an infant by Kaahumanu, the “favorite wife” of Kamehameha the Great, Pflueger lived a privileged life in pre-statehood Hawaii.

In the 1960s, Pflueger worked in car sales and bought his first dealership. “I know how to work and work hard and I know how to talk to people,” Pflueger told Hawaii Reporter in a 2006 interview. He was the first to bring Honda to Hawaii, the deal made him one of the wealthiest men in the state.

Besides remarkable success in business, Pflueger had many other talents. Extremely rugged and athletic, even in his later years, he surfed, paddled, water-skiied and jet-skied. He flew his own helicopter and some times irritated his neighbors when he landed it where he pleased. He drove rugged vehicles up steep mountains. He helped build Hawaii’s first racetrack and won racing competitions. Eventually, Pflueger married and had five children.

And Pflueger bought land – a great deal of it – on almost every maln Hawaiian island. The story of how Kauai’s 118-year-old Ka Loko Dam, and its surrounding 1,000 acres of land came to be in the possession of Pflueger and the Mary Lucas Estate, of which James Pflueger is an heir, began 144 years ago in the Kingdom of Hawaii under the rule of Kamehameha V, when Mary Lucas was born. Mary Lucas accumulated considerable land holdings in Niu Valley on Oahu and on the North Shore of Kauai during her more than 100 years of life and left it to her family. At the time of the Ka Loko Dam disaster, he owned more than 500 acres on Kauai, including most of the land around the reservoir and the dam itself.

Mary Lucas

According to numerous stories Pflueger shared with Hawaii Reporter about his business ventures and occasional encounters with people who crossed him, he didn’t let anyone get in his way either in business or in life and he didn’t answer to anyone when it came to his actions on his private land.

A Fall from Grace

The indictments handed down on Friday are not the first time Jimmy Pflueger has run afoul of the law.

When Pflueger purchased 393 acres from his family trust for $6.4 million on the North Shore of Kauai overlooking the beach in Pilaa in April 1997, he says the property, then valued at $7 million, was “ugly, that no one in the family wanted it,” and that his daughter Tracy, a real estate agent, warned him of potential problems from property owners who would access their kuleanas or neighboring small land parcels through his property.

But he says Pilaa captured his heart and set out to make it “beautiful” with the help of a special tractor that could make the once forest-filled grounds manicured like a golf course. “You know, you see all these weeds, we buried them. Anything you see here you can knock down and bury them,” Pflueger said, motioning around his Pilaa property.

Pflueger now admits he illegally graded and grubbed several acres of his property fronting Pilaa beach in 2001. Heavy rains on the 50 to 100 acres of exposed land led to the November 26, 2001, catastrophic mudslide, which devastated the beach and bay.

The mudslide also damaged the property, home and small business of Amy and Rick Marvin. With the help of local attorney Teresa Tico, the Marvins won a large civil settlement against Pflueger in 2007.

Amy and Rick Marvin

Kauai Attorney Teresa Tico

Beginning in 2001, Teresa Tico and Amy Marvin pushed for criminal charges against Pflueger, and in 2006, after an extensive investigation by county, state and federal officials, Pflueger was charged with 13 counts. He pled guilty to 10 felonies and was sentenced to three years probation and a nationwide record for a storm water case – and he was levied a $12 million fine.

“You know what? I did do work without a permit. I screwed up. And I said ok I accepted it. I am a felon,” Pflueger says, adding, “This was a nightmare.” He said in court that there would have been no problem if the rains hadn’t come. Pflueger is still performing remedial work at Pilaa mandated by the settlement with the EPA.

Ka Loko, A Crime Scene?

Before his illegal grading and grubbing at Pilaa in 2001, Pflueger admits he did the same kind of work on a nearby Kauai property around Ka Loko reservoir.

The land surrounding the reservoir is partially owned by him and the Mary Lucas Trust, for which he was one of two lead trustees with his cousin Paul Cassidy, until his niece, Christiane Lucas, took them both to court to have them removed for mismanagement. She accused her uncles, particularly Pflueger, of “self dealing,” something which infuriates Pflueger who maintains he is a “good steward of the land.”

Multiple permits are required to work around a dam, but those weren’t obtained before the work in the area, according to state special investigator Robert Godbey.

Local Realtor Mike Dyer, who once managed the dam, reservoir and surrounding property for a former owner, says he visited Pflueger’s property in 1997 and saw construction around the reservoir, which he believed compromised the dam’s safety, so he took photos and says he faxed two letters to Pflueger calling attention to the fact that Pflueger had covered the spillway. The spillway, which Dyer describe as 15 to 20 feet wide concrete slab located just below the dam, was key to releasing water overflow safely. Without a spillway, he told Pflueger that if there was too much water flowing into the reservoir from heavy rains, it could overtop the dam, causing it to breach.

Mike and Shar Dyer

At the same time Dyer expressed his concern, a separate anonymous tip sent County’s Department of Public Works inspector to investigate Ka Loko on November 7, 1997 where he documented illegal grading with heavy equipment on the hilltop adjacent to Ka Loko Reservoir. Pflueger and his workers had leveled a 50-foot hill to create home sites. The inspector sent a “Notice of Grading Violation” by a certified letter to Pflueger saying inspectors “observed and verified the grading on the subject property to be in violation” of the County’s ordinances and ordered Pflueger to “stop work immediately with the exception of work to correct any hazards to public safety and health.”

But Pflueger did not stop work at Ka Loko. Instead, Pflueger, who told Hawaii Reporter in an exclusive interview in 2006 that he felt he was being harassed by inspectors, says he personally visited Mayor Maryanne Kusaka and gave her $9,000 cash. County records show that subsequently the stop work order was not enforced.

On Nov. 26, 1997, John Buist, Jr., a civil engineer for the county, says he was summoned by Mayor Kusaka to discuss Pflueger’s grading violation. Buist says the Mayor and the Assistant Administrator, Wallace Rezentes, Sr., questioned “why Mr. Pflueger should be required to obtain a permit for work in such a remote area.” Buist explained “the ordinance applied no matter how remote the site may be, and noted that this was not the first violation for which Mr. Pflueger had been cited.” But instead of the mayor coming down on Pflueger, Buist was told to “stop all actions involving Mr. Pflueger.”

Pflueger told Hawaii Reporter that he doesn’t remember any correspondence with Dyer and he does not recall ever seeing a spillway at Ka Loko. But he admitted that he could have covered the spillway himself: “And that reservoir around it is beautiful because I mowed it right down there to the edge. I did, mowed everything. I mowed everything. And if I filled something up or if somebody filled it up – tell me. Tell me. I mean, tell me,” Pflueger says.

Regardless if he covered the spillway, Pflueger says he is not responsible for the death and destruction that resulted from the dam breach. He blames former landowner, C. Brewer, and the Kilauea Irrigation Company’s manager, Tom Hitch, who through a 1987 water rights agreement distributed water from the reservoir to the farmers below. He says they should have noticed if he covered the spillway because they were in charge of maintaining the water system.

“Everything is covered with grass. Everything is covered with grass. Whatever happened, happened. I never saw the spillway. I don’t know where the damned thing is. But who is the operator of the dam? It is their responsibility. … But if I did it (cover the spillway), no problem. I don’t remember doing it, but if I did it, no problem.”

He also blames the State of Hawaii because the Department of Land and Natural Resources officers never paid him a visit, despite a 1987 law that says dams must be inspected every 5 years. (The DNLR director at the time of the breach, Peter Young, said Pflueger did not grant the DNLR access to his property).

The Indictments

Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett led the grand jury proceedings, despite an earlier protest last Tuesday from Pflueger’s attorney William McCorriston, who unsuccessfully aimed to have Bennett and his office prevented from heading the criminal investigation because he claimed Bennett has a conflict of interest being that the state could also prove culpable.

Bennett says he believes the evidence in the case justified the presentation to the grand jury, but that “an indictment is only an accusation and Pflueger is considered innocent unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a judge or jury.” He confirmed if convicted, Pflueger could be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison for each of the manslaughter counts.

Just after the indictment was filed, McCorriston held a press conference to announce his client’s outrage, saying that the 82-year-old Pflueger shouldn’t be subject to such legal proceedings because he infirmed with a heart condition, and moreover, because he is innocent. McCorriston says he will fight to move the criminal trial to Oahu or the Big Island and is considering waiving a jury trial because he doesn’t believe his client can get a fair trial on Kauai after “years of bad press.”

McCorriston also unsuccessfully attempted to move Pflueger’s civil trials from Kauai after they were consolidated in Kauai’s 5th Circuit, even taking his plea to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Bennett says he will vigorously fight attempts to move the trial off the island. The vast majority of witnesses are on Kauai, and the some of the victims’ families say moving the trial would be difficult for them.

Two civil trials are scheduled in 2009: A wrongful death suit in February and a property damage suit in September 2010. So far, Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe has refused to reschedule the civil trials despite attempts from Pflueger’s legal team to get them delayed; but now that Pflueger has been indicted for Manslaughter and Reckless Endangering, the civil trials may have to wait until the criminal charges are resolved.

Comical Look At Obama, Dog and Hillary R. Clinton

Credit  http://www.starbulletin.com

HONOLULU LITE

A job for Hillary to sink her teeth into

By Charles Memminger

I think President-elect Barack Obama was wrong to consider Hillary Clinton for the position of secretary of state because it underutilizes her true talents.If Sarah Palin was a pit bull with lipstick, Hillary is a pit bull in a pantsuit. Being secretary of state would put her in the miscast role of having to play nice-nice with leaders all over the world.

My suggestion is to make Hillary secretary of a new Cabinet post, the Department of Whacking Osama bin Laden. I have no doubt that if Hillary Clinton were turned loose with the sole goal of tracking down and eliminating the world’s most dangerous terrorist, she could do it. In fact, I would bet that knowing Hillary was after him would cause bin Laden to quake in his turban.

And while she’s at it, she should take out that bearded munchkin Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaida second-in-command who recently made racial slurs against Obama. What was that little loser thinking, trash-talking a guy who can sink three-pointers at will?

And just to make sure bin Laden and al-Zawahiri reach room temperature as soon as possible, Obama should call on fellow Honolulu hometown boy Duane “Dog” Chapman as deputy secretary of the Department of Whacking Osama bin Laden.

Does anyone doubt that Hillary and the Dog could run bin Laden to ground? Hillary and Dog working together as a two-person terrorist strike force would make Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme look like the Olsen twins.

Of course, Hillary would need a cool nickname like Dog’s. Maybe “Mombo” or “Killary.”

Both Hillary and the Dog have a lot of pent-up anger and frustration. Hillary first had to put up with the shenanigans of her husband and then got run over by the Obama juggernaut. Dog faced going to prison in Mexico and then temporarily lost his bounty-hunter TV show for making less-than-gracious comments about his son’s African-American girlfriend.

Going after Osama bin Laden would be a useful way to allow Mombo and Dog to vent. And it would show the world that President Obama will not be soft on terrorists.

So please, Mr. Future President, take the leashes off of Mombo Clinton and Dog Chapman and let them do what they are really good at: ripping the throats out of people who get in their way. The world will be a better place.

I think President-elect Barack Obama was wrong to consider Hillary Clinton for the position of secretary of state because it underutilizes her true talents.

If Sarah Palin was a pit bull with lipstick, Hillary is a pit bull in a pantsuit. Being secretary of state would put her in the miscast role of having to play nice-nice with leaders all over the world.

My suggestion is to make Hillary secretary of a new Cabinet post, the Department of Whacking Osama bin Laden. I have no doubt that if Hillary Clinton were turned loose with the sole goal of tracking down and eliminating the world’s most dangerous terrorist, she could do it. In fact, I would bet that knowing Hillary was after him would cause bin Laden to quake in his turban.

And while she’s at it, she should take out that bearded munchkin Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaida second-in-command who recently made racial slurs against Obama. What was that little loser thinking, trash-talking a guy who can sink three-pointers at will?

And just to make sure bin Laden and al-Zawahiri reach room temperature as soon as possible, Obama should call on fellow Honolulu hometown boy Duane “Dog” Chapman as deputy secretary of the Department of Whacking Osama bin Laden.

Does anyone doubt that Hillary and the Dog could run bin Laden to ground? Hillary and Dog working together as a two-person terrorist strike force would make Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme look like the Olsen twins.

Of course, Hillary would need a cool nickname like Dog’s. Maybe “Mombo” or “Killary.”

Both Hillary and the Dog have a lot of pent-up anger and frustration. Hillary first had to put up with the shenanigans of her husband and then got run over by the Obama juggernaut. Dog faced going to prison in Mexico and then temporarily lost his bounty-hunter TV show for making less-than-gracious comments about his son’s African-American girlfriend.

Going after Osama bin Laden would be a useful way to allow Mombo and Dog to vent. And it would show the world that President Obama will not be soft on terrorists.

So please, Mr. Future President, take the leashes off of Mombo Clinton and Dog Chapman and let them do what they are really good at: ripping the throats out of people who get in their way. The world will be a better place

A&E Network Chief Talks About the Future Of Dog and Other Programming

Q&A: A&E’s Bob DeBitetto

A&E Network chief talks with B&C about the future of “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” the economy’s effect on programming and devleopment and how the “Sopranos” acquisition has panned out.

— Broadcasting & Cable, 11/22/2008 9:00:00 AM

With off-network reruns of CSI: Miami and Criminal Minds, a deep roster of unscripted crime shows (The First 48, Dog the Bounty Hunter and Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force, premiering Dec. 9) and original series (The Cleaner and the upcoming The Beast), A&E is carving a niche as a law-and-order destination.

Bob DeBitetto, president and general manager of A&E Network and Bio Channel, talks to B&C‘s Marisa Guthrie about how he sees the network positioned during an economic downturn, when the financial crisis may impact television development and his prognosis for veteran reality shows Dog and Intervention.

It seems that at a time of great economic uncertainty, viewers are rejecting open-ended serials and frivolous dramedies for the black-and-white world of cops and criminals. Do you think any of that will matter as we head into hard times?

We’re all looking at a challenging year next year in television. All of us. There’s just no question about it. One of the things that you have to do to be successful is to read the tea leaves, to look forward, not backward.

It is fortuitous that some of the genres that we compete so well in are genres that people today are watching in greater numbers because some of the alternatives seem more frivolous in today’s serious economic climate. We like where we are right now. Maybe in a few years we’ll stick our finger up in the air again and see where things are.

The economic crisis has softened the scatter market. When does the recession begin to impact development?

Everybody is looking to first quarter as a major indicator of what 2009 is going to be like. Despite all the bad news, the fourth quarter has remained remarkably robust for us. If the retail spending numbers are really as bad as everybody thinks they might be this holiday season, that’s when [advertisers] might really decide to cut back on ad spending in the first quarter.

There are a couple of things that are fiscally in favor of A&E right now. Broadcast networks continue to see extremely alarming losses in audience. And some of those audiences are going to cable.

There’s a similar phenomenon going on in advertising spending. We’re seeing the migration of advertising dollars from broadcast to cable. The CPM differential makes cable extremely attractive. In challenging economic times everybody is looking at their ROI and saying where can we most effectively place our ad dollar? I think cable offers a very attractive alternative in a difficult economic environment.

That’s not to say cable’s going to have a banner year next year. We’re certainly all battening down the hatches and taking a close look at our plans.

What is the future of Dog and Intervention?

When you look at the network the last few years, if there is any one thing in terms of nuts and bolts and why we have succeeded, it’s the consistency of our ability to develop, launch and sustain franchises. Not just a show that comes and goes after one or two seasons, but franchises that have staying power for three, four, five, six seasons.

This year, Intervention is having its highest ratings ever, and not by a little bit—50% over last year [in adults 18-49]. So when do I see them ending? I don’t. In those two shows we haven’t seen any indicators yet that maybe we’re getting close to [the end]. We look for it. We haven’t seen it.

Several years ago, A&E paid a lot of money for The Sopranos, which had to be stripped of all cussing, nudity and a lot of violence. In hindsight assess that decision.

If we had it to do all over again, I absolutely would.

Why?

At that time, a few years ago, A&E was in a very different place. We needed an A-triple-plus premium platform that was going to vault us to the next level not only in terms of brand and in terms of network perception, but in terms of a true premium property that we could bring into the ad marketplace to move us forward. If I showed you the list of between 50 and 100 clients that came to us and bought the network who had never bought the network before The Sopranos, you would see what I’m getting at. That franchise led such advancements in the ad marketplace. It really sort of vaulted the network to a new plateau.

I honestly don’t think the network would be where it is today in terms of brand perception and viewership but mostly in terms of CPM pricing and in terms of client mix. I just don’t think we would be in the same place. BMW is one example. BMW never bought A&E before The Sopranos. BMW has been a client ever since. Many many premium clients started to think of our network differently.

Now, given how it performed on the network, would I have preferred to pay less for that franchise? Absolutely. But nevertheless if I had it to do again, I would have absolutely done it again. So there has been a method to this. You just don’t necessarily see it when you look at it from the outside.

Credit to http://www.broadcastingcable.com.  More infomation there.

DM