Dr. Keli`i Akina’s Status as OHA Trustee Upheld
Board meets in Executive Session
News Release from OHA Trustee Dr Kelii Akina, PhD January 4, 2016
HONOLULU, HI- Today, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board of Trustees convened in Executive Session to discuss Akina et al. v. State of Hawaii et al., a lawsuit in which Trustee Keli‘i Akina participated, along with four Native Hawaiian OHA beneficiaries and two other individuals, as plaintiffs against OHA. No adverse action was taken against Trustee Akina.
Prior to the Executive Session meeting, Trustee Akina presented a statement from Daniel Gluck, Executive Director and General Counsel for the Hawaii Ethics Commission. In it, Mr. Gluck wrote, “There is no conflict per se with Trustee Akina serving as President/CEO of a non-profit organization while also serving as an elected trustee of OHA.”
Mr. Gluck also stated, with regard to Trustee Akina's participation (as an OHA Trustee) in any matters involving the Akina lawsuit itself, “Again, we believe that there is not necessarily a per se conflict of interest… ” The full text of the statement from the Ethics Commission Executive Director was provided to Board Chair Rowena Akana for use in the Executive Session.
“Today was a productive day. The will of the voters who elected me was upheld,” Trustee Akina said. “While the content of the Executive Session is confidential, no adverse action was taken against me, and I am honored to continue to work alongside my fellow Trustees for the betterment of Native Hawaiians and all Hawaii.”
Keliʻi Akina, Ph.D., is a community leader who is known for the phrase he has coined, "E Hana Kākou" - Let's work together! Over the past several years as a public policy adviser at the legislative, congressional and international levels, Dr. Akina’s mission has been to preserve the Aloha Spirit by which native Hawaiians and people of all races are welcomed and encouraged to work together for a better future for all our keiki. He is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a nonprofit, independent think tank.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this news release do not reflect those of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs or its Board of Trustees.