The Honolulu City Council passed three resolutions to spend up to $220,000 to fund the city’s defense in two lawsuits relating to the Honolulu rail project and the seizure of homeless people’s property, and a criminal case involving a police officer.
The Council also approved spending up to $20,000 to retain attorney Thomas Otake to represent Officer Siave Seti, Jr. in a case brought by the state Attorney General. Seti was caught on tape slamming a Palolo Valley resident onto the sidewalk.
According to the resolutions, the Office of Corporation Counsel said that it didn’t have expertise in criminal law to defend Seti in-house. The department also said that limited resources prevent them from handling the ACLU case and that retaining outside counsel for the rail case provides needed expertise.
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