A deputy prosecutor, a police officer and a probation administrator were honored with community service awards at a Maui Crime Stoppers fundraiser March 15 at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.
Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas takes the lead on agricultural theft cases for the Maui County prosecutor's office.
"He is a tireless worker and is extremely knowledgeable in prosecution of property crimes," Maui County Prosecuting Attorney John D. Kim wrote in nominating Temas for the award.
Tom Blackburn Rodriguez (left) moderates a Maui Crime Stoppers fundraiser March 15 after board member Matt Stevenson (center) presented community service awards to Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas (from left), Adult Client Services Administrator for 2nd Circuit Court Ernest DeLima and Maui police officer Nephi Laga at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.
The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo
Temas recently negotiated a plea agreement that led to a partial payment of $80,000 in a theft case. "We have been aggressive in pursuing restitution as part of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, for our property crime victims," Kim said.
Wailuku patrol officer Nephi Laga was the top officer in the district for the last quarter of 2013 when he made more than 100 arrests and handled more than 300 calls for police service. Forty of the arrests were for drug-related offenses, and five were for driving under the influence of an intoxicant.
"He is extremely dedicated and always goes above and beyond to serve the residents of Maui," said Capt. Clarence Kenui, commander of the Wailuku Patrol District. "He has certainly set the standard by which other officers are measured."
Laga has worked for the Maui Police Department for three years. He and his wife, Emilarie, have six children - Afoa, 17; Alolee, 15; Nephi Jr., 11; Ezra, 9; Enara-Marie, 8; and Emma-Larie, 7.
Second Circuit Adult Client Services Branch Administrator Ernest DeLima, a 24-year Judiciary veteran, oversees the branch that supervises adults on probation.
"He has played a critical role in making the 2nd Circuit a leader in the implementation of cutting-edge approaches to rehabilitation and crime prevention through the use of evidence-based practices, motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavior restructuring as well as the development of a Special Services Unit to supervise high-risk offenders," 2nd Circuit Chief Judge Joseph Cardoza wrote. "Consistent with the qualities of a strong leader, Ernest credits his dedicated staff for these accomplishments."
For more than a decade, DeLima has spent countless hours as a baseball, soccer and basketball coach and board member.