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                            Public Communications Division
                            Department of Customer Services
                            City & County of Honolulu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 30, 2001


            A Honolulu Police Detective and a City Equal Opportunity Officer were announced this morning (October 30) as the City Employee of the Year and Manager of the Year, respectively, in a ceremony at Honolulu Hale recognizing the city’s top employees.

            “I am proud to honor these outstanding individuals, who represent the best of our fine City workforce,” said Mayor Jeremy Harris.  “Our employees and managers are the heart and soul of our government and we depend on their talents and dedication in serving the public.”

            Detective Earl T.K. Koanui, the 2001 Employee of the Year, is a 17-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department who distinguished himself with uncommon valor and integrity during an undercover gambling investigation involving organized crime over a period of nearly three years. A single parent with three children, he willingly put his life and his family at risk to serve the community.  His efforts were instrumental in obtaining federal grand jury indictments against 32 individuals in May, 2000, for gambling and related money-laundering offenses.  The case resulted in a seizure of nearly $500,000 in cash and forfeiture of more than $2.6 million of property in Honolulu and in Hilo.

            Denise L. Tsukayama, an Equal Opportunity Officer with the Department of Human Resources, is the Manager of the Year for 2001.  She is credited as an excellent and credible resource in all matters pertaining to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) issues and the American Disabilities Act (ADA).  She displayed exceptional leadership in developing a comprehensive training program for City managers and provided expert testimony on behalf of the City in grievance arbitration hearings and in responding to the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the Federal EEO Commission.  Ms. Tsukayama has significantly reduced the City’s liability by her knowledge and proactive approach to EEO and ADA issues.

            Also honored this morning were 22 departmental Employees of the Year (including Detective Koanui), four finalists for Manager of the Year (including Ms. Tsukayama) and seven Sustained Superior Performance awardees. A Valor Award was presented to Franklin Baker, a city lifeguard, for disregarding his personal safety to rescue a surfer stranded in 10- to 15-feet waves last November at Sunset Beach.


Wednesday, February 27, 2002

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