Thursday, May 29, 2014
OHA now claims no meeting took place in Washington
by Larry Geller
The May 13, 2014 Star-Advertiser reported a meeting of OHA trustees held in Washington DC at which the trustees discussed a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry by OHA Chief Executive Officer Kamana‘opono. The trustees then voted to send a rescinding letter:
After learning about the letter Friday while on business in Washington, OHA trustees voted unanimously to fire off another letter to Kerry rescinding Crabbe's letter, explaining that it doesn't reflect the position of the board.
[Star-Advertiser p. A1, OHA executive defends letter to Kerry, 5/13/2014]
No notice of the meeting was filed in advance as required by Hawaii’s Sunshine Law.
As the first step in a possible complaint to the Office of Information Practices, and to learn in detail what was discussed at that meeting, I wrote to OHA on May 15 asking for a copy of the agenda and minutes of the meeting. They had 10 working days to reply.
Today (May 29) I received the reply:
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs does not file an agenda unless it conducts a meeting as defined in Chapter 92, HRS. Inasmuch as there was no business conducted there is no agenda and no minutes.
If the media reports are correct, then a business meeting (including a vote) did take place. Yet OHA is denying that they held a meeting in Washington.
OIP now has five complaints on the OHA meetings and will be issuing an opinion.
Given their workload and limited budget, the opinion might come out soon, or it could be delayed in the pipeline.