Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, July 21, 2013
Solar Scam: DoE Overpays $612M for Athletic Supporter?
By Andrew Walden @ 12:27 AM :: 6226 Views :: Education K-12, Energy

by Andrew Walden

A whistleblower claims the Hawaii Department of Education is rigging a billion dollar alternative energy contract to favor Chevron Energy Solutions.  An internal DoE procurement audit shows the DoE stands to lose between $310M and $612M over the life of the contract by accepting Chevron's bid over that of energy engineering firm Prime Solutions

Former DoE Energy Efficiency Program Manager Sarah McCann July 12 filed a state whistleblower lawsuit.  Exhibits include the audit, bid analysis sheets, and an exchange of emails between McCann and DoE Assistant Superintendent for School Facilities and Support Services Ray L’Heureux.  In the June 10 email exchange L’Heureux tells McCann, “I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation as it now stands.”

Gravity?  Ask MRC Greenwood. 

Prime Solutions is very experienced in the type of project outlined in the DoE’s RFP, but the company run by electrical engineers from Connecticut

On the other hand, Chevron's “Hawaii Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs director” is Al Chee.  Chee is the Chairman-Elect of Ahahui Koa Anuenue, “the designated organization responsible for the coordination and oversight of all fundraising activities that are conducted to benefit and support the UH Mānoa athletics programs.” 

According to the AKA website, Chee “represents Chevron's interests as a registered lobbyist in the legislative setting, is responsible for managing internal and external communications, and oversees development and implementation of key community partnerships in Hawai‘i.”

The DoE bid audit, presented May 28, 2013 by McCann and Hawaii Association of Energy Engineers Chapter President Ray Delio, shows the Chevron bid was grossly non-compliant and should not have even been considered.  According to the audit, Chevron’s bid:

  • was “non-binding” and the fee proposal was “to be negotiated” 
  • misstated the purpose of the program as “to help teacher labor costs and transportation” 
  • “had multiple bankruptcies of subcontractors” 
  • was “significantly more expensive than the performance contracts recently signed by other state agencies.”

McCann’s counsel sent a “whistleblower warning” to the State with copies to DoE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and BoE Chair Don Horner after her superiors allegedly ordered her to illegally destroy all copies of the audit because “it would be evidence that the State improperly conducted the process….”  

Her attorney requested the DoE “take all necessary action to protect our clients from any illegal or improper actions being taken against her in retaliation by the DoE for this disclosure so as to prevent the necessity of a claim pursuant to the Whistleblower Protection Act, HRS 378-62.” 

In the email exchange with L’Heureux, McCann writes: “our hope is that this will be handled at the highest levels….”  L’Heureux responds “there most certainly will be discussions at that level.” 

The DoE terminated McCann June 24.

DOE spokeswoman Dona­lyn Dela Cruz claims McCann was not really terminated, just a 90-day hire who timed out.  Dela Cruz quit Governor Abercrombie’s office after telling that kind of story too many times.

The firm of McCann’s attorney, Bert T. Kobayashi Jr, separately represents Prime Solutions.   

$612M is 11 times the $55M used by the DoE/BoE/HSTA as the excuse for Furlough Fridays.

Al Chee did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

---30---

LINK: FULL TEXT OF LAWSUIT

LINK: McCann vs Matayoshi Exhibits D, E, F

2008: Chevron Energy Solutions Expands into Hawaii

Institutional scale solar: 49% Waste: Inspector General Slams Hawaii Navy Solar Projects 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT