Court dismisses sexual harassment case against OHA Trustee Peter Apo
News Release from CommPac, May 31, 2017
HONOLULU – A state judge Wednesday threw out a lawsuit alleging that Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Peter Apo harassed a former subordinate and breached his fiduciary responsibility.
Plaintiff Mililani Trask, a former OHA trustee, does not have the legal standing to sue Apo, First Circuit Court Judge Dean Ochiai ruled.
“In my 40-plus years of public service, I have never before been accused of inappropriate behavior,” Apo said. “I trust that this dismissal, granted in a very clear and convincing opinion by Judge Ochiai, will be upheld in the event of any appeal.
“I look forward to being able to focus exclusively now on how to restructure OHA so that it is more effective,” Apo said. “If people want OHA to change, I invite them to work with us rather than against us. It will be better for the Hawaiian people.”
OHA last year had, without conceding any liability or fault, reached a settlement of a claim the former subordinate filed internally within the state agency.
Apo was not a party to that settlement. As an employee of OHA, however, he is bound by the confidentiality agreement that accompanied it. He, therefore, cannot comment on the allegations in the Trask case other than to point out that he has not and does not concede any liability or fault in the matters that Trask alleged.
The former subordinate was not a party in the Trask lawsuit.
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