OHA board members walk out of meeting

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Office of Hawaiian Affairs were set to discuss the fate of its CEO Kamanao Crabbe but the meeting was abruptly halted after several trustee walked out.

The board members walked out after Chair Rowena Akana removed from discussion an item on changing Crabbe's title from CEO to administrator. The move angered people who came to the meeting hoping to speak in support of Crabbe.

"A majority of them would wish there's a reconvening of the original agenda to afford the community to speak to the relevant agenda items," said Crabbe.

But Akana said the items were removed because they were not placed on the agenda on time. That could void any votes since it would be a violation of the state's open meetings law, she said.

Akana said the trustees who walked out, did that to show her up.

"I'm not going to allow them to make a mockery of our meetings. And that's what they've been doing. I don't want OHA to look like a laughing stock in the community," she said.

Akana says that under Crabbe's leadership, OHA's budget ballooned.

"We've had budget increases that went from $23 million to $30 million to $40 million then $50 million," she said.

Meanwhile, Crabbe says he wants to stay on because he has a lot of unfinished business.

"I do think we will lose momentum and we will lose the opportunity to advocate for Hawaiians at the highest level," he said.

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