Thursday, July 18, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
OHA Granted Marijuana Grower Right to Audit LLCs
By Andrew Walden @ 1:18 AM :: 1007 Views :: Ethics, OHA, Drugs

by Andrew Walden

Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe signed a secret non-compete, non-disclose agreement with Nevada marijuana grower Ranson Keola Shepherd. 

Existence of the September, 2015, agreement first came to light nearly three years later at a May, 2018, OHA Board of Trustees meeting -- and then only as a justification for keeping OHA Trustees in the dark regarding a secretly formed OHA LLC called Ho’opakeu.

As Hawai'i Free Press  reported May 27, 2018

In a May 22, 2018 memo from Hi’ilei Aloha LLC, another of OHA’s six known LLCs, to OHA Board of Trustees, Crabbe and (then-OHA CFO Lisa) Victor admit to the secrecy—blamed on an alleged ‘Non-Disclosure agreement’ which they apparently believe supersedes state open records laws….

Via a UIPA request, Hawai’i Free Press has now obtained a copy of the Crabbe-Shepherd agreement: Its' purpose, “…to discuss and evaluate a potential business relationship between them pertaining to a … medical marijuana enterprise in the state of Hawaii or elsewhere….”

OHA has stalled an audit of its LLCs for over a year.  Ironically, one clause of the agreement allows “Ranson Keola Shepherd, his assigns or Affiliates” to audit OHA at will:

10.3 Audit. (Shepherd) may audit any and all records of (OHA) relating to the Confidential Information, as well as (OHA’s) security and protection measures, and procedures therefor.  All audit inspections shall be made at reasonable times during normal business hours, and with reasonable notice provided to (OHA) ….

Presumably “any and all records of OHA” would include records of Ho’opakeu LLC and its parent organization, Ho'okele Pono, LLC, another of OHA’s LLCs.

Other aspects of the agreement may be illegal.  

The “non-compete” clause of the agreement effectively commits OHA to violate the State Procurement Law:

“…(OHA) agrees that, during the Term, they shall not, directly or indirectly, through an Affiliate or otherwise, engage or have any interest, direct or indirect, in any business in competition with the Project….”

Several “non-disclose” clauses commit OHA to violate Hawaii's Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA).  One clause makes granting our UIPA request a breach of of the agreement:  

Confidential Information. With respect to any Confidential Information, (OHA) agrees and undertakes: to hold it in strict confidence and not to disclose it in any manner or to anyone except as expressly provided for herein….

…this Agreement and the existence, nature and scope of the Project and the Business Relationship are deemed Confidential Information of Disclosing Party….

Other clauses place OHA under Nevada jurisdiction and make OHA financially liable for “any breach of the agreement.”

Akamai readers will remember the 1990s Broken Trustees of Kamehameha Schools running the multi-billion dollar KSBE Trust as a personal investment club profiting themselves and their cronies.

The multi-million dollar OHA tries to imitate the masters of old—but comes up short.

According to the Hi'ilei Aloha memo to Trustees:

“On September 10, 2015. OHA's Board of Trustees (BOT) created the Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Innovation…. OHA's COO and CFO were tasked by the Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Innovation Chair Leina’ala Ahu lsa to: (a) conduct due diligence on the process for creating a particular type of joint venture; and (b) evaluate the appropriateness of the proposed venture. At that point in time, the hope was that the proposed joint venture could be very profitable and could assist OHA with its Fiscal Sustainability efforts.”

OHA Trustee Lei Ahu Isa tells Hawai’i Free Press, “My Ad Hoc Committee had volunteers such as Frances Oda, Eddie Flores, (and) Bert Kobayashi.”

Ho’opakeu, LLC was registered with the DCCA BREG October 30, 2015 by Mona Bernardino, who is manager of several other OHA LLCs.  On BREG its three managers are listed as Kamanapono Crabbe, Lisa Victor, and Iona Hawley—respectively, OHA’s CEO, COO, and former CFO.  In its’ Articles of Organization, the sole ‘member’ of the LLC is listed as Ho’okele Pono—one of OHA’s six known LLCs--Bernardino signs as “attorney in fact for Kamana’opono M. Crabbe, Manager.”

Ranson Shepherd's Nevada marijuana grow op was profiled on Hawaii News Now, August 21, 2017.  Shepherd tells HNN he can produce two tons of marijuana every year.  His name does not show up on published lists of Hawaii medical marijuana dispensary applicants. 

May 27, 2018, article in Hawai’i Free Press outlines evidence that Ho’opakeu was apparently organized to benefit the marijuana dispensary application of Ola Investments.

John Henry Felix was one of 16 co-owners of ‘Ola Investments, Inc’ per its dispensary application (pg 16) dated January 29, 2016.  Other owners included ex-HPD Chief Lee Donohue and several local businessmen.

In May 23 and May 24, 2018 emails widely distributed at OHA, Trustee Lei Ahu Isa tries to clarify:

Ranson Kepa Shepherd and my committee met to establish a “shell” LLC as he was trying to close a fabulous deal for a dispensary, one of the 8.

OHA has to sign a non disclosure so nothing was leaked as it was proprietary in nature….

Our beneficiary that presented now makes profits of upwards to $1M per month and is helping so many native tribes in Vegas.

Too bad, too sad OHA closed the door on this opportunity​ to diversify and expand.​…

I felt I needed to follow up and explain the created "shell" of Ho’opakeu, LLC.... as it was advised that we have an LLC created in the short turn around time for application for the medical marijuana license application with John Henry Felix....

Ola Investments failed to win a marijuana dispensary license.

---30---

Background:

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

Affordable Hawaii Coalition

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

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 Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

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 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

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT