When Jodi Arias addresses the jury in her murder trial, the big question will be whether she pleads for mercy or repeats what she told a TV reporter minutes after her conviction: She would rather be executed than...More >>
Jodi Arias begged jurors Tuesday to give her life in prison, saying she "lacked perspective" when she told a local reporter in an interview that she preferred execution to spending the rest of her days in jail.More >>
Citing a lack of leads, a police agency said Monday that it is closing the active investigation of the disappearance of Susan Powell, a Utah mother whose now-dead husband was a prime suspectMore >>
The lawyer for the family of missing Utah woman Susan Powell said Tuesday that even as local police close the active part of their investigation into her disappearance, federal authorities continue to review the case - a...More >>
The president of a New York police union defended an officer who accidentally killed a Hofstra University student during a standoff with an armed intruder, saying Tuesday the only person responsible for the...More >>
The president of a New York police union defended an officer who accidentally killed a Hofstra University student during a standoff with an armed intruder, saying Tuesday the only person responsible for the woman's death...More >>
Rescue crews are working through the night after a monstrous tornado barreled through the Oklahoma City suburbs, demolishing an elementary school and reducing homes to piles of splintered wood.More >>
Helmeted rescue workers raced Tuesday to complete the search for survivors and the dead in the Oklahoma City suburb where a mammoth tornado destroyed countless homes, cleared lots down to bare red earth and claimed 24 lives,...More >>
Crews search through the night after tornado slams Oklahoma City suburb, killing at least 51More >>
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Michelle Kauhane was Deputy Director of the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. In December she met with the governor's Chief of Staff, Bruce Coppa.
She recorded audio from the meeting on her iPhone, unbeknownst to the other people in the room.
"I'd like to offer you a job, $85,000, and working with Colin Kippen for Hawaiians," Coppa said on the recording. "It could be funded through DHHL. It's an opportunity. I'd like you to consider it."
"I was stunned to be asked to go somewhere else," Kauhane said.
She said she felt intimidated because State Attorney General David Louie was also there. He talked about an investigation into an email she wrote on re-certifying native Hawaiians.
"The email was simply to stop the process we were following now, so that I could understand how do we arrive at a situation of re-certification," Kauhane said.
On the recording Louie said her statements could be in violation of the law.
"If you were to take a different position, the incompatibility is not as manifest," he said. "It's still an issue for me but it's not the same thing if you're in a different position, if you're not acting as the Deputy Director."
Kauhane said she understood it to mean "it would be less of an issue if I took a job somewhere else."
She describes the meeting with Coppa and Louie as confrontational, and the job offer as a way to get her out of the way. She and DHHL director Jobie Masagatani didn't see eye to eye.
"That's the only way I'm leaving DHHL. You don't want me there, fire me!" Kauhane said on the recording.
She was terminated a few days after the meeting, and told only that her services were no longer needed.
"Seeing it first hand myself was stunning. That even at the highest levels of enforcement, the Attorney General himself, I felt intimidated to be asked to go somewhere else," she said.
At one point Coppa can be heard getting emotional, tapping the desk to emphasize his points.
"I said, 'Hey, $85,000 a year. It's not a bad deal. Let's see if we can make that happen, and we'll spin it up to be very good. It could be a damn good thing and the governor could announce it. That's what I'm telling you as a friend," he said.
"With a friend like that I probably don't need an enemy," Kauhane said.
In a statement, the governor's press secretary Louise Kim McCoy said, "The Chief of Staff and Attorney General have no comment as to their discussions with Michelle Kauhane as this is a personnel matter. DHHL funds are regularly used to pay the salaries of personnel from other departments whose services are exclusively furthering the mission of DHHL."