All Lloyd Yamamoto asked for was a reward for doing the right thing. But no.
The owner of Lloyd’s Kahului Chevron, Yamamoto was up before the Maui County Liquor Control Adjudication Board on Mar. 1. The sole charge against him was one count of serving alcohol to an undercover minor in a sting operation that had taken place in June 2006.
To that he pled no contest. “My employee made a mistake,” he told the board. He told them that he tries to keep after his five cashiers the best he can, making sure they card anyone who looks under 21. But then he said something else: “I just got stung a few weeks ago, too.”
The board members looked at each other in shock. You’re telling us about how you’re trying to train your people, and they sold liquor to another undercover minor?
“Oh no,” he said. “We passed. Don’t we get a reward?”
The rest of the board looked relieved. Then board member Donald Fujii turned to LC Director Franklyn Silva. “Doesn’t the department send out letters?” he asked.
“We used to,” Silva said. “But then we’d find that the very next week they’d get stung.”
Visibly embarrassed, Fujii than told Yamamoto something lame about how maybe he as the store owner could reward his employee for successfully evading a sting, but it was clear Fujii thought it a right good idea for the department to give out some kind of reward.
Silva compared the practice to a police officer waiting at a stop sign and then handed out special certificates to people who obeyed the law, but that’s not quite right—police officers don’t send secret squads into traffic asking drivers if they’d like to run stop signs.