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Rodrigues loses conviction appeal following release from prison

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 02:37 p.m. HST, Mar 27, 2012

A federal appeals court has rejected another challenge by former union leader Gary Rodrigues, who was recently released from prison after serving more than four years for conspiracy and embezzlement.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled today that an omission in the instructions to the jury that found him guilty was "harmless" and did not influence the panel in reaching its verdict.

Rodrigues, former state director of the United Public Workers union, was released from prison earlier this month, said Eric Seitz, his lawyer.

Seitz said Rodrigues is in Honolulu, settling in and looking for a job.

Seitz said they probably will continue pressing their challenge either by asking for a larger 9th Circuit panel to review today's ruling or by seeking an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rodrigues was convicted of conspiracy, embezzling union money, money laundering and health care fraud in 2002. 

He was sentenced to five years and four months in prison, but was allowed to remain free pending an earlier appeal that was also turned down by the appeals court. He began serving his term in early 2008 and was released after serving just over four year. Seitz said Rodrigues received credit for good behavior.

Rodrigues also paid $378,000 in restitution to the UPW.

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lee1957 wrote:
What a slimeball.
on March 27,2012 | 12:03PM
zionjake wrote:
Rodrigues or his lawyer Seitz?
on March 27,2012 | 12:07PM
pakeheat wrote:
shall I answer that for you? LOL
on March 27,2012 | 12:44PM
kispest wrote:
on March 27,2012 | 12:45PM
lee1957 wrote:
on March 27,2012 | 06:02PM
Peacenik wrote:
Not clear what he's appealling? Wasn't he already convicted and served his required time? How much did he embezzeled? What kind of work is he seeking?
on March 27,2012 | 12:17PM
Bandibear wrote:
He probably stole millions. $378,000 restitution was a drop in the bucket.
on March 27,2012 | 04:38PM
hanoz808 wrote:
on March 27,2012 | 12:25PM
false wrote:
He should run for office. Fits right in!
on March 27,2012 | 12:37PM
kispest wrote:
You got it right!
on March 27,2012 | 12:45PM
cojef wrote:
You think the union members will vote for him??? Maybe, as they have a propensity of reelecting easily influenced people time and time again. For what reason, no comments, as Iwant to pass muster by the approval bosses at SA.
on March 27,2012 | 01:22PM
whs1966 wrote:
So he's "...settling in and looking for a job." Who would hire this guy?
on March 27,2012 | 12:48PM
Imagen wrote:
on March 27,2012 | 01:08PM
syhud wrote:
Another sleazeball!
on March 27,2012 | 07:23PM
twitter6 wrote:
He should become Seitz' receptionist.
on March 27,2012 | 01:09PM
Wazdat wrote:
I bet he gets a job with a union. What a CROOK and I would bet he is not he only one out there who ripped off its members.
on March 27,2012 | 01:12PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Bet he ends up connected to the rail program. Just watch.
on March 27,2012 | 02:32PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
All unions are crooks. They are basically legalized racketeering. Their sole job is to leech out as much tax dollars out of you and me and at the same time make us feel like we owe their constituents money. Doesn't that sound like a scam to you? Well, it is.
on March 27,2012 | 02:51PM
Grimbold wrote:
Some unions are irresponsible and blackmailing when they have a monopole like serving the government, driving cement trucks or unloading the ships.
on March 27,2012 | 07:35PM
LadyNinja wrote:
I don't know that side of Gary many of you are referring to. I've always known him to be nice and personable. As for Eric, he is a great lawyer and I have the utmost respect for him.
on March 27,2012 | 04:19PM
peanutgallery wrote:
Yeah sure. That's why he hid-out with Bumpy Kanahele and his gang of misfits. Gary is lucky he turned himself in, and so was Bumpy.
on March 27,2012 | 07:31PM
Grimbold wrote:
He will get another union job, you bet ?
on March 27,2012 | 05:29PM
Kawipoo wrote:
Abercrombie is going to hire him to head a state ethics committee.
on March 27,2012 | 06:49PM
BRock wrote:
I wonder if any of these posters have the guts to say their nasty things to his face. I doubt it.
on March 27,2012 | 08:41PM
niimi wrote:
I don't. Then again, I didn't say anything nasty here (yet).
on March 28,2012 | 12:28AM
Maunawiliboy wrote:
Karma has a way of kicking in the a** right when you are feeling just too dant da da......
on March 27,2012 | 08:42PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Good Luck with that job search Gary, you're gonna need it.
on March 27,2012 | 11:00PM
niimi wrote:
Reminds me of the corruption of the Battle of Athens which can be searched upon. It was about corruption in McMinn County, Tennessee. It took a call to arms to right the ship there.
on March 28,2012 | 12:27AM
niimi wrote:
Any of the other union leaders past and present with such power and leverage? There was that guy from the Electrical Workers some years ago. What about the other construction trades? Carpenters? Masons? Plumbers? Ironworkers? Painters? Laborers? Anyone currently who has some sort of bad reputation? What about other unions? Just curious.
on March 28,2012 | 12:31AM
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