HONOLULU (KHON2) — Pressure is mounting for a Hauula property owner who has been accused of illegal dumping on his land, as law enforcement raided his property early Thursday.
The attorney general’s office said this was a part of an active investigation, and multiple agencies were involved in the search warrant.
The raid was a day after the Honolulu City Council passed a resolution that urges the city administration to foreclose the property.
The state sheriffs executed a search warrant on Hopoate Taufa’s property in Hauula. The warrant alleges felony disposal of solid waste on Taufa’s property that is zoned as agricultural land.
Taufa said, “they said they are searching for illegal, illegal activity and illegal material.”
Taufa’s use of his property was also questioned during a Honolulu City Council meeting Wednesday. The department of planning and permitting said the property has been in city code violation for grading since 2018.
But Taufa said he has owned the land since November 2019.
The DPP’s deputy director said there are four liens on Taufa’s property.
Meanwhile, Councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi said illegal dumping on the property has been a long issue for the community.
The resolution cites a $17,000 fine issued by the Hawaii State Department of Health back in 2020 for 100 cubic yards of construction material dumped in a protected wetland.
This issue was discussed between Tsuneyoshi and Taufa during the city council meeting.
Tsuneyoshi said, “We’re talking about the dumping of thousands of cubic yards of fill material from construction sites onto an agricultural land.”
Taufa denied such actions.
“For you to say I am dumping thousands of construction material,” Taufa said. “I don’t think that I am that type of person that I do this to my own community.”
The city council voted to pass the resolution urging the city administration to take action on the property’s liens and take over through judicial foreclosure.
Taufa still hopes there is a way he can keep the property.
Taufa said, “Any violation that I need to pay, pay the fine and, and hopefully, we can clear everything that we can save the land.”
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The DPP deputy director said the fines have amounted to nearly $400,000.