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Former Maui official sentenced to 10 years in bribery scheme

Peter Boylan
                                Pictured are Stewart Olani Stant, left, and Milton J. Choy.
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Pictured are Stewart Olani Stant, left, and Milton J. Choy.

The former director of the Maui County Department of Environmental Management who took more than $2 million in bribes in exchange for steering sole source contracts to a Honolulu wastewater company was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison this morning.

Stewart Olani Stant, 56, must report to the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Oregon, on Apr. 6 to begin serving his sentence. Stant will pay $1.9 million in restitution and a mandatory $100 assessment. Following his release, he will be on federal probation for three years.

Stant, dressed in a black shirt and grey coat, apologized for his actions in court this morning.

“I regret what I did and I am truly sorry for what happened. What has happened does not define who I am. I am not the person that did this yet I will take all responsibility…and will make restitution for this for the rest of my life,” he said.

Stant pleaded guilty Sept. 19 to a single count of conspiracy to deprive the public of the right to honest services for his part in what Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson, Chief of the office’s Criminal Division, called, “the largest single known case of bribery prosecuted” in the district of Hawaii. Watson agreed in court today that he had never seen a bribery case like this.

Stant took hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, bank deposits and Las Vegas gambling trips with luxury accommodations and gambling chips. In exchange, he directed at least 56 contracts to wastewater management company H2O Processes in return for hundreds of individual bribes from H20 Processes owner and manager Milton J. Choy, over at least seven years.

Stant is one of four public officials to be charged so far during an ongoing investigation into public corruption in Hawaii by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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