A fourth defendant in the Honolulu permitting department bribery scandal has pleaded guilty to taking money in exchange for providing favorable treatment.

Jason Dadez, a Department of Planning and Permitting building inspector, pleaded guilty to honest services wire fraud on Tuesday and admitted he “engaged in a scheme to secretly use his official position to enrich himself,” his plea agreement states.

In 2012, Dadez took bribes from a solar contractor and processed the company’s permit applications. Dadez helped to draft the applications. He also took $100 for each photovoltaic panel application and $25 for each solar hot water permit application, totaling at least $9,900 in payoffs in cash and checks.

In 2017, he took two $1,000 checks from the owners of a Waipahu restaurant for whom he was processing permit applications associated with a wall sign in the establishment. And in 2020, he accepted $1,000 in cash from an architect/third-party reviewer and their client to nullify a code violation related to a renovation at the client’s Ala Wai Boulevard residence.

Dadez will have to pay a judgment of $12,900, the plea agreement states. His court-appointed attorney Catherine Gutierrez did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Dadez was one of six people charged in a DPP bribery bust last year: five current and former DPP employees and one architect.

Architect William Wong and former building plans examiners Kanani Padeken and Jennie Javonillo already pleaded guilty last year. 

Wayne Inouye, the former chief building inspector, and Jocelyn Godoy, who worked in DPP’s data access and imaging branch, are currently awaiting trial scheduled for later this year. 

Dadez has been on leave with pay from his city job, The Associated Press reported. DPP told the AP that it is reviewing Dadez’s plea agreement and will “address it accordingly.”

Support nonprofit, independent journalism.

During this election season, we hope that our coverage provides you with the information to make informed decisions on issues that you care deeply about.

Whether it’s affordable housing, education or the environment, these issues depend on your vote, and our ability to report on them depends on your support.

Every contribution, however big or small, allows us to continue keeping readers informed through election day and beyond. So, if you found value in our coverage, please take the next step by making a contribution to Civil Beat today.

About the Author