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Kalani English sentenced to over three years in federal prison for taking bribes

Former high-ranking Maui state lawmaker J. Kalani English was sentenced Tuesday to just over three years in federal prison for taking thousands of dollars in bribes to influence legislation on cesspools.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway handed down the 40-month sentence to the 55-year-old Hana resident.

She also imposed a $100,000 fine and ordered that he be subjected to three years supervision after he serves his time, according to English’s attorney Richard Sing.

English must surrender to begin his sentence on Aug. 16, said Sing, who declined to comment further on the sentencing.

Sing had sought a lesser sentence of 30 months, while the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hawaii sought a 42-month sentence.

English did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

English, a former state Senate Majority Leader who represented the 7th Senate District, which includes Hana, East Maui, Upcountry, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe, plead guilty to one count of honest services wire fraud on Feb. 8.

The bribes from a business owner started at least by 2015 and included several thousand dollars to buy food and drinks for a political gathering, $1,805 for two hotel rooms in Las Vegas in 2019, $500 in cash for a family dinner in 2019, $1,000 in cash to introduce a bill in 2020, $10,000 in cash to delay passage of two cesspool bills in 2020 and $5,000 in cash in 2021.

English announced his retirement on April 27, 2021 due to lingering symptoms of long COVID.

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