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October 17, 2005

Hawaii News: Akaka Bill spending questioned in suit

Topics: Hawaiian News

Five Native Hawaiians of 50% blood quorum have sued the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) claiming the OHA has been spending money reserved for Hawaiians of at least 50% blood per the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920. All nine trustees are named in the suit, as well as two former trustees.

OHA trustees have claimed to have spent nearly $1 Million in support of the Akaka Bill. The lawsuit claims that such expenditures go beyond the language of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, language that was later incorporated into the state constitution.

Attorney Walter Schoettle said lobbying for the Akaka bill was a clear example of illegal spending because the legislation gives a "diluted, open-ended and constitutionally overbroad definition of 'Native Hawaiian.' " Under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, money generated by the so-called ceded lands -- former Hawaiian crown and government lands -- is supposed to benefit those with 50 percent blood quantum.
OHA has willfully breach its fiduciary responsibilities to the Native Hawaiians!

I could sense this suit coming as soon as the 50% blood quorum came up in discussion.

OHA should take advice from auditor - The Honolulu Advertiser - Hawaii's Newspaper. A comment from the auditor of OHA's practices claimed:

"questionable" spending practices and high rates of default and delinquencies in its revolving loan fund ... and ...charges the 25-year-old OHA with behaving like a "fledgling" organization.
The audit described above revealed some favoritism practices of OHA and gross mismanagement. Loans were given out to friends and then repayment was slack it not nonexistent.

Opponents of the AKaka Bill want OHA to withdraw its support of the Akaka Bill.

Posted for Harry Owens

Posted by Richard at October 17, 2005 10:31 PM

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