Charles Ota should resign from OHA

Letter to the Editor
Honolulu Advertiser
June 11, 2001

I have tried my best to stay out of this controversy and have never written anything about the Office of Hawaiian Affairs because to attack OHA is actually attacking myself. The not-so-smart U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed all that.

Trustee Charles Ota's profanity, on television no less, now becomes a different situation.

I was happy Ota won the Maui seat because I knew he was a smart businessman. As a reporter for Akaku Television covering the OHA elections, I had mentioned how he might be like Matsy Takabuki, the former Bishop Estate trustee who helped make wise investments for the trust. I had mentioned that trustee Ota might be exactly what OHA needed. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I had requested financial help from Ota for funding a group of dancers, crafters and artisans from Hawai'i and the Mainland to travel to Australia on a cultural exchange, where I am being recognized along with five other indigenous people. Trustee Ota said this is the kind of thing OHA should fund and that I should submit a proposal. I did, and after five months, trustees told me Ota had not pursued funding for our trip. I was told also that he did not go to board meetings.

My question is why, Charlie, after spending $50,000 to "buy" the election and deny other qualified people from holding this important office, you don't participate and you use language that is unbecoming to the office you hold?

You should do the right thing, as your culture dictates: Resign to save face and let someone else with class represent Maui. Please do it now.

Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell

Ho`iho`i Mai