by Andrew Walden
The August 24, 2014 Advertiser story revealing $95,000 in Office of Hawaiian Affairs payments to convicted mortgage scammer Keanu Sai is drawing a response from Sai. In an August 25, 2014 post on the Hawaiian Kingdom Blog, Sai makes several allegations about Kana'iolowalu finances:
In his interview with (Star-Adv reporter Rob) Perez, Dr. Sai brought to his attention that $25,000.00 to do a memorandum needs to be kept in context. A prior memo contracted by OHA with an attorney that centered on strategies toward federal recognition cost $75,000.00.
Dr. Sai also told Perez that Norma Wong, a consultant to Kana‘iolowalu, and close confidant and advisor to former Governor John Waihe‘e, III, Chair of the Roll Commission, was paid two increments of $250,000.00 a year for a total of $500,000.00.
Chair Waihe‘e also contracted Denis Dwyer for a total of $1.3 million dollars to be Kana‘iolowalu’s federal lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Dwyer was also contracted by the Honolulu Rail Project’s HART to be its federal lobbyist and was paid $1.43 million dollars from 2007 to 2013.
Dr. Sai also told Perez that Clyde Namuo, who was also the former CEO for OHA before Dr. Crabbe, was simultaneously collecting a full-time salary as Kana‘iolowalu’s Executive Director while he was also collecting a full-time salary as director for the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
None of these allegations were included in the Star-Advertiser report.
At their November 7, 2013 Board Meeting OHA Trustees voted to wind down Kana‘iolowalu. According to OHA, only 21,418 Hawaiians had signed up for the Roll as of September 27, 2013. The Commission had burned through $3.3M of OHA resources and was demanding another $2.5M when the Trustees decided to pull the plug.
$1.3M for Dwyer plus $500K for Wong is nearly 55% of the $3.3M spent by the Roll Commission. Sai did not mention the amount of Namuo's alleged double dipping salary.
Dwyer, Wong, and Waihee were tied together in the mid-1990s KSBE Broken Trustees effort to evade responsibility for their corrupt doings. For years OHA has paid Dwyer an unknown amount of money for services related to federal recognition. Dwyer is a regular in OHA Trustees' executive sessions. Dwyer pops up again in efforts to lobby for federal transportation dollars to pay for Rail.
John Waihee III likes money. Nobody has yet explained how he gets his after that Right Star thing.