All I can say is that Dave Jorgensen has guts. A partner in the powerful Wailuku law firm Ing, Horikawa and Jorgensen, he successfully won three not guilty verdicts on three over-serving counts for Moose McGillycuddy’s at the Liquor Control Adjudication Board’s Dec. 1, 2005 hearing.
That he won at all was remarkable, considering the last Adjudication Board not guilty verdict came down two years earlier. But Jorgensen managed to do so after sticking his head in a potential noose right at the hearing’s beginning.
As the trial got underway, Board Chairman Shigeto “Mustard” Murayama invoked his beloved “exclusionary rule” (see the Oct. 20, 2005 LC Watch for more on this) to kick any potential witnesses out of the hearing room.
“With all due respect,” Jorgensen said, “we will be calling Frank Silva as a witness, so I ask that he leave the room.”
The five full seconds of silence that followed Jorgensen’s announcement seemed like five months. Everyone looked at Jorgensen. Everyone looked at LC Director Silva, who always, Always, ALWAYS sits in on the hearings.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Martin finally asked Jorgensen why he wanted to call Silva as a witness. Jorgensen said he had many questions about previous orders Silva had given his investigators, time logs and other issues he said were central to his case.
There was more silence, but then Silva graciously said it was okay and walked out. It was dramatic—Perry Mason-dramatic—and it took real courage for Jorgensen, who faces the LC all the time, to do that.
But what took even more courage was that after Jorgensen had gone through all his other witnesses, he told the board that he didn’t need to question Silva after all.
And now to update a previous LC Watch. On Dec. 1, I marveled in this space at the LC shelling out $10,000 to send 10 Adjudication Board members and Liquor Commissioners to a posh Big Island resort for the annual State Liquor Conference. Since then it’s come to my attention that the department also sent an additional 10 to 12 staffers, including managers, investigators and secretaries to the conference, which most likely ran the whole LC conference bill to around $25,000. When it comes to conferences, the LC apparently spares no expense.