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Pflueger’s sentencing in Kauai dam break delayed again

    Attorney David Minkin and William McCorriston watched as Pflueger signed the agreement.

LIHUE >> A retired car dealer’s sentencing was delayed for a second time in a Kauai dam breach that swept seven people to their deaths in 2006.

James Pflueger’s new sentencing date is Aug. 28. Because of a medical condition, he was unable to travel from Honolulu to Kauai in January for his original sentencing date.

Pflueger pleaded no contest in July to first-degree reckless endangerment for his role in the Ka Loko dam break on his property. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop manslaughter charges.

Meanwhile, a petition by dozens of Kilauea farmers and residents has been filed in court asking that Pflueger’s sentence include orders to fix the dam and spillway, The Garden Island reported.

“In particular, we ask that Pflueger’s sentence include orders to restore the Ka Loko Dam and its spillway so that it complies with all applicable Hawaii state laws and regulations, so that the Ka Loko Reservoir system may once again sustain the region’s economic vitality which Pflueger’s reckless actions have endangered,” the petition said. “In addition to the seven lives lost on March 14, 2006, Pflueger’s recklessness resulted in a desiccated Ka Loko Reservoir — a result that scars the earth and wounds the heart of the community.”

One of the accusations against Pflueger was that the spillway — designed to keep water from flowing over the dam –had been covered.

Pflueger’s attorney, William McCorriston, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

The plea agreement calls for five years’ probation. At the sentencing, prosecutors can argue for additional conditions such as community service, a fine and up to a year imprisonment, according to the state attorney general’s office.

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