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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 12, 2010

Alleged threat by correctional officer to Hawaii senator under investigation

Advertiser Staff

The state Department of Public Safety is looking into an incident on Friday in which a female correctional officer allegedly made a threat against state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, D-14th (Halawa, Moanalua, Kamehameha Heights).

The woman was among several correctional officers who visited Kim's office after a rally at the state Capitol to complain about a potential budget cut that may force Halawa Correctional Facility to close a module and lay off workers.

According to Kim, the woman told one of her staffers that it would be Kim's fault if she were to get shot while driving around.

"It seemed like a threat," Kim said.

Kim, the chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, recommended the budget cut at Halawa to help with the state's budget deficit.

But she said she doubted the cut would cause as many job losses as the United Public Workers, the union that represents correctional officers, is estimating.

Kim said the union has apologized and that the woman was referring to the potential for violence by former prison gang members.