Candidate sought by police appears at mayoral forum

Mayoral candidate Nelson Waikiki Jr., who was reported missing by a friend last month, is being sought on a 2nd Circuit Court warrant alleging that he failed to comply with conditions of his release in a criminal case.

However, he did appear at a mayoral forum Tuesday evening at Seabury Hall that was televised on Akaku. No arrest had been made as of 9 p.m, though county officials said after the debate that two plainclothes officers were waiting outside the meeting hall.

Waikiki, 49, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to four felony securities fraud charges connected to an investment scheme involving Opunui Water Co. and Opunui Land and Water Co.

According to the indictment, nearly two dozen people – including a hui of seven – invested more than $100,000 with Waikiki, who wasn’t a registered securities broker, from July 2008 to December 2012.

After being jailed for more than nine months following his arrest in the case last year, Waikiki was released on supervision April 11 after he changed his pleas.

As part of his release, he was required to report to the Maui Intake Service Center, to refrain from the use of alcohol and illegal drugs, and to submit to drug testing.

Waikiki reported to the center May 12. But when he was told the morning of May 28 to report for drug testing at the Maui Community Correctional Center that afternoon, he didn’t show up, according to an affidavit filed by Deputy Attorney General Albert Cook to support the arrest warrant.

Waikiki was again told on the morning of June 18 to report for drug testing that afternoon and again didn’t show up, according to the affidavit.

A warrant for Waikiki’s arrest for allegedly violating his release conditions was filed June 30, with cash-only bail of $100,000. The amount is the same as the bail that had been set before Waikiki’s release.

Waikiki said after the mayoral forum Tuesday night that he was not aware that there was a warrant out for an arrest or that he had been reported as missing.

“I don’t know where that came from; how does the media get all this stuff?” he asked.

“The issue with the court, my obligation is to the judge, not to other people and not to the attorneys,” said Waikiki. “The judge has asked me to do two things: get a job and the second one is to comply with my investors. . . . That is what I’m going to do, comply with the order.”

Waikiki is among six candidates running for Maui County mayor.

Under state law, a person sentenced for a felony may not become a candidate for or hold public office from the time of the person’s sentence until the person’s final discharge.

Waikiki is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10, about a month after the Nov. 4 general election. As part of a plea deal, Waikiki agreed to pay $141,100 in restitution, including $60,000 before or at the time of his sentencing.

If he doesn’t make the $60,000 payment, Waikiki agreed to be sentenced to a 10-year prison term instead of probation.

Police said a friend reported Waikiki missing after last seeing him June 24 at Paia Bay. Before that date, the friend reported having been with Waikiki for seven to 10 days.

In his filing papers, Waikiki gave his address as being on Kealaloa Avenue in Makawao.

* Staff writer Eileen Chao contributed to this report. Lila Fujimoto can be reached at