A well-known descendant of Hawaiian royalty has filed an ethics complaint against the chief executive officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Abigail Kawananakoa alleges that Kamana’opono Crabbe failed to inform the state Ethics Commission that he has ties to six companies.

Kawananakoa’s complaint, filed Tuesday, alleges that Crabbe failed to disclose the information in annual financial disclosure forms he submitted to the Ethics Commission from 2012 to this year.

OHA Kamanaopono Crabbe IUCN leadership forum with Governor Ige and UH David Lassner. 5 sept 2016
Kamanaopono Crabbe had no comment about the complaint against him. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Instead, the complaint states, Crabbe filed forms containing “materially false and misleading information.”

“The Ethics Commission has not yet contacted me about this complaint,” Crabbe said. “Therefore, I have no comment.”

Dan Gluck, executive director of the Ethics Commission, also declined to comment.

“All complaints with our office are treated as confidential, so we do not comment on whether a complaints was filed with us,” Gluck said.

Civil Beat was provided the complaint and related documents by James Wright, an attorney for Kawananakoa.

It cites the requirement that public officials such as Crabbe are required to list every relationship with businesses and organizations, the terms of the office and the annual compensation for each.

Kawananakoa identified business registration filings for the six limited liability companies in question with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Each identifies Crabbe as a company manager during the same time period as his employment with OHA.

The companies are Hi’ilei Aloha, Hi’ipoi, Hi’kualono, Ho’okipaipai, Ho’okele Pono and Hi’ipaka.

Abigail Kawananakoa at Supreme Court. 27 aug 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Abigail Kawananakoa at the Hawaii Supreme Court in 2015. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“Crabbe’s failure to disclose his position with the six above-named LLCs is clearly a breach of his duty to the (Ethics) Commission, to the OHA Beneficiaries, and to the people of Hawaii,” Kawananakoa said in the complaint.

She added that withholding the information was “particularly egregious” because, she said, the companies are managed by OHA and funded “in whole or in part” by OHA trust funds.

It is not the first time that Kawananakoa has found fault with Crabbe, who has survived efforts on the part of some OHA trustees to remove him as CEO.

In February, Kawananakoa — who is also an OHA trust beneficiary and Campbell Estate heiress — filed a lawsuit alleging that a three-year contract for Crabbe signed by then-OHA Board Chair Robert Lindsey Jr. last summer was done without the board’s approval.

Read the complaint:

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