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Tam gets 2 days in jail, more than 300 hours of community service

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    Former City Councilman Rod Tam was sentenced to two days of jail Dec. 31st and Jan. 1st. in District Court by Judge Randal Shintani with his fines turned into hundreds of hours of community service. Tam pleaded no contest in June to 8 charges of theft and ethics violations. Last November, he pleaded guilty to 26 counts of theft and falsifying documents. Nelson Goo was his defense attorney and Lori Wada was the deputy attorney general. This is Tam looking remorseful, apologizing before Judge Shintani.

A state judge ordered former City Councilman Rod Tam today to serve two days in jail and perform more than 300 hours of community service for stealing money from the city and violating state campaign spending laws.

Part-time Honolulu District Judge Randal Shintani also granted Tam’s request to defer his no-contest and guilty pleas, giving him a chance to have the cases dropped if he stays out of trouble for a period of time.

Shintani ordered Tam to report at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 30 to begin his jail sentence at Oahu Community Correctional Center. He will be released at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 1. State prosecutors had asked for six-month jail term.

Tam pleaded guilty in November last year to 26 misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor charges of theft and falsifying documents related to overcharging the city $8 to $267 for meals at Honolulu restaurants from 2007 to 2009.

He also pleaded no contest in June to eight misdemeanor charges of violating campaign spending laws from February 2008 to January 2009.

 He did not challenge the charges of falsely claiming he had a meal with a volunteer at a restaurant, failing to report two campaign contributions, misusing campaign funds and failing to maintain receipts to verify expenses.

Tam was a councilman during the time covered by the two criminal cases, but left the council at the start of this year after serving two four-year terms.

During his 32 years in elective office, he also served as a state representative and senator.

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