The Hawaii State Ethics Commission said Wednesday that a Circuit Court judge has upheld a ruling against Rowena Akana, the former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee.
In February, the commission found that Akana committed 47 violations of the State Ethics Code.
The case arose from the trustee’s acceptance “of prohibited gifts, failure to file gifts disclosure statements, and use of her Trustee Allowance to pay for her home cable television service, political donations, and food for herself and staff, among other things,” according to the commission.
Then OHA Chair Rowena Akana, January 2017.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
A penalty of $23,106 was imposed and the matter was referred to the Hawaii attorney general for possible further action.
Akana, who lost re-election in 2018, appealed, but on Tuesday Circuit Court Judge James Ashford rejected Akana’s arguments.
Among Akana’s arguments were that the Ethics Commission lacked the authority to regulate an OHA trustee’s exercise of powers, that it exceeded its authority and jurisdiction, that it deprived Akana of due process, that written charges should have been issued as a prerequisite to the investigation, that her equal protection rights were violated, that the fine was excessive and that OHA should have been held accountable.
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.
We need your help . . .
Our small newsroom believes wholeheartedly that news and information is a public service – not something to be hidden behind paywalls or diluted by ads. Your donations ensure that our reporting remains free and accessible to all communities, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Support independent, fact-based, nonprofit news by making a tax-deductible gift. We rely on your support.