by Andrew Walden
Shortly after yesterday’s surprise resignation by Gov Abercrombie’s Homeless Coordinator, former Catholic Priest Marc Alexander, Honolulu atheist activist Mitch Kahle sent out a press release detailing his efforts since December 20 to extort a meeting with the Abercrombie administration. Today’s Star-Advertiser reports:
Within several hours (of Alexander’s resignation) Mitch Kahle -- the founder and head of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church -- alleged in a news release on behalf of an anonymous woman that Alexander is being accused of a years-long affair with a woman while he was still a Catholic priest….
Kahle said the woman is a former church employee. He emailed the Governor's Office regarding the allegations on Dec. 20.
In a Dec. 30 letter to Kahle, state Attorney General David Louie said the allegations are "taken seriously by the Administration and the Department of Attorney General," but went on to advise Kahle and the woman to pursue their complaint with the Catholic Church because the affair allegedly occurred under their employment.
Louie also rejected Kahle's demands for a meeting with the governor and his threats to make the allegations public.
"(Y)ou have threatened to 'take this public' if the governor refused to meet with this anonymous person," Louie wrote to Kahle. "Neither the governor's office nor the state will bow to threats of adverse publicity. ... If you wish to make this matter public, that is up to you and the anonymous person."
In a phone interview Thursday night with the Star-Advertiser, Kahle said he was called by the woman on Dec. 13 and has corresponded with her via email and spoken to her by phone but has never met her. When asked why he has never met the woman, Kahle repeatedly said, "It's complicated," but declined to elaborate.
Moronically, Kahle’s own news release outlines all of the elements of the State and Federal felony known as extortion. Here is a key quote from Attorney General Louie writing to Kahle:
"(Y)ou have threatened to 'take this public' if the governor refused to meet with this anonymous person. Neither the governor's office nor the state will bow to threats of adverse publicity."
AG Louie thus describes Kahle demanding a consideration—a meeting with Abercrombie—in exchange for non-disclosure of potentially embarrassing information about an administration official. Hawaii State law is clear on this type of conduct:
§707-764 Extortion. A person commits extortion if the person does any of the following:
(2) Intentionally compels or induces another person to engage in conduct from which another has a legal right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which another has a legal right to engage by threatening by word or conduct to do any of the actions set forth in paragraph (1)(a) through (k); or
And here are the relevant actions described in HRS 707-764 paragraph (1)(a) through (k):
(f) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or to impair the threatened person's credit or business repute;
(g) Reveal any information sought to be concealed by the person threatened or any other person;
(i) Take or withhold action as a public servant, or cause a public servant to take or withhold such action;
(k) Do any other act that would not in itself substantially benefit the defendant but which is calculated to harm substantially some person with respect to the threatened person's health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation, or personal relationships;
AG Louie wrote: “Neither the governor's office nor the state will bow to threats of adverse publicity.” But the blackmail attempt has successfully driven one of Abercrombie's most effective appointees from office. Is Governor Abercrombie going to allow blackmail and extortion to direct his course or select his appointees? Will such extortion go unpunished?
CriminalDefenseLawyer.com helpfully informs readers that the penalties for extortion in Hawaii include $25,000 in fines and 10 years in prison.
All that is required is a prosecutor with guts.
SA: Homeless chief quits as allegation surfaces
CB: Hawaii Homeless Chief Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations
News Release: Abercrombie's Homeless Coordinator Suddenly Quits
CB: AG: Alexander Sex Allegations 'Not Directly Related' to State Job
Kahle Dec. 20 Letter to Abercrombie
Louie Dec. 30 Letter to Kahle