OHA Trustees’ Legal Counsel Robert Klein Advises Board to Commit a Crime

The Office of Information Practices’s (OIP) investigation and conclusion that the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) violated the Sunshine Law effectively voided the BOT’s May 9, 2014 letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rescinding OHA’s CEO Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe’s May 5, 2014 letter to the Secretary seeking clarification on the legal status of the Hawaiian Kingdom under international law.

OHA Letter May 9, 2014

At the center of the controversy was whether or not the BOT violated the Sunshine Law, which according to the OIP Guide to the Sunshine Law for State and County Boards, “the intent of the Sunshine Law is to open up governmental processes to public scrutiny and participation by requiring state and county boards to conduct their business as openly as possible. The Legislature expressly declared that ‘it is the policy of this State that the formation and conduct of public policy—the discussions, deliberation, decisions, and actions of governmental agencies—shall be conducted as openly as possible.’”

The BOT attempted to justify their actions to rescind by taking the position that there was no Board meeting in Washington, D.C., that would have come under the scrutiny of the Sunshine Law. According to the OIP, “OHA’s argument is that the OHA Board’s decision to rescind the Crabbe Letter did not require a meeting, because the Crabbe Letter had no legal effect and the Rescission Letter was consistent with previously adopted OHA policy.”

It is unimaginable how the BOT could have construed Dr. Crabbe’s Letter as being inconsistent with OHA policy, when he was merely seeking information in order to inform the Trustees regarding policy. Dr. Crabbe’s Letter opened with, “As the Chief Executive Officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, being a governmental agency of the State of Hawai‘i, the law places on me, as a fiduciary, strict standards of diligence, responsibility and honesty. My executive staff, as public officials, carry out the policies and directives of the Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the service of the Native Hawaiian community. We are responsible to take care, through all lawful means, that we apply the best skills and diligence in the servicing of this community. It is in this capacity and in the interest of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs I am submitting this communication and formal request.”

After Dr. Crabbe explained the situation and circumstances that led him to seek clarification on the legal status of the Hawaiian Kingdom under international law, he concluded, “While I await the opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel, I will be requesting approval from the Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that we refrain from pursuing a Native Hawaiian governing entity until we can confirm that the Hawaiian Kingdom, as an independent sovereign State, does not continue to exist under international law and that we, as individuals, have not incurred any criminal liability in this pursuit.”

OHA did hold a meeting in Washington, D.C., on May 9, 2014, where Dr. Crabbe could have made his request to the Trustees as stated in his letter, but instead the Trustees held a closed meeting that did not include Dr. Crabbe. In this meeting, not all of the Trustees were in Washington, D.C., but some were still in Hawai‘i.

The meeting was a haphazard mix of emails, telephone conversations and face-to-face conversations amongst the Trustees, which concluded Dr. Crabbe’s Letter to be “void as an ultra vires act.” This resulted in another letter, with OHA’s letterhead, sent to Secretary Kerry rescinding Dr. Crabbe’s Letter where all nine Trustees provided their signatures. This so-called letter to rescind clearly showed that the action taken by the Trustees was a Board matter and therefore subject to the scrutiny of the Sunshine Law. Since the OIP concluded that the meeting was illegal, anything stemming from an illegal meeting is “void,” which includes the Trustees decision that concluded Dr. Crabbe’s Letter was “void as an ultra vires act.” In other words, the only valid act by OHA in these circumstances is Dr. Crabbe’s May 5 letter to Secretary Kerry.

OHA Trustees Dan Ahuna and Hulu Lindsey removed their names from the May 9 letter after conferring with Dr. Crabbe and both concurred that he was authorized to send his letter to Secretary Kerry to seek clarifications.

The other violation of the Sunshine Law was when the Trustees refused to accept oral testimony on an agenda item of a BOT meeting on May 19, 2014 in Honolulu where the Trustees were going into closed session to discuss the fate of Dr. Crabbe and his letter to Secretary Kerry. It was stated on the agenda that the BOT would go into executive session for “Consultation with Board Counsel Robert G. Klein re: questions and issues pertaining to the Board’s powers and duties with respect to Contract Number 2744, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe, and to consider appropriate action with respect to the conduct of Dr. Crabbe.”

According to the minutes of that meeting, attorney Dexter Kaiama, stated to the BOT:

Dexter_Kaiama“The Sunshine Law states that any meeting held by the Trustees is required to allow public community testimony. He respectfully submits that failure to allow public testimony prior to going into executive session would be a violation of the Sunshine Laws. He is aware that OHA is in receipt of an OIP complaint regarding its May 9, 2014, letter signed by the Board of Trustees. The complaint questions the appropriateness of the actions taken by the Trustees at that time. In order to keep with the spirit of the law, he offers that no executive session be taken regarding item II.A. relating to Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe. The letter is inextricably intertwined with the actions the Board seeks to discuss this morning concerning Dr. Kamana‘opono Crabbe. If those actions of May 9th violate Sunshine Laws then these additional actions may also be in violation. He asks that no action take place until the Office of Information Practices completes its investigation.”

Former Hawai‘i Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Klein, who is retained by the BOT as their legal counsel, responded by stating:

Robert_Klein“the Board is entitled to go into executive session on this matter without public comment because this is purely an executive session matter. With respect to the letter it is irrelevant to the decision to go into executive session inasmuch as this meeting has been duly and properly noticed for the purposes of the agenda item. Due to the fact that there is no public portion of the meeting it is not necessary to take public comment. He respectfully disagrees with attorney Kaiama and advises the Board that it is free to go into executive session without public comment.”

In light of the OIP’s findings, the advise given to the BOT at this meeting by their legal counsel was not only bad advise, but it was Klein’s legal advise for the BOT to violate the Sunshine Law, which carries a punishment of up to a year in prison, a fine, and removal from the Board. It is not clear whether the BOT consulted Klein during their “unlawful” meeting in Washington, D.C., but he was clearly consulted during the Board meeting in Honolulu on May 19, 2014 as reflected in the minutes. If he was consulted in Washington, D.C., he again gave advice to violate the Sunshine Law in light of the OIP’s investigation. As a former Hawai‘i Supreme Court Justice, Klein cannot claim ignorance of the Sunshine Law and it would appear to be a case of legal malpractice at the very least.

The attorney that gave the best legal advice at the Honolulu meeting was Mr. Kaiama, but the Trustees didn’t listen when they should have.

21 thoughts on “OHA Trustees’ Legal Counsel Robert Klein Advises Board to Commit a Crime

    • I agree with Melissa, and to include all who placed their names
      on that letter of rescission sent to U.S. Secretary of State Kerry.

      The OIP finding is evidence of wrong doing, a violation of trust.
      They should not be getting paid as of the exact second that
      information came out!

      • Aloha ka kou,

        Never thought I’d see it: Separation of Corruption!
        Wow, is it even possible to realize a mass removal?
        What’s the proper protocol in this situation?

        Mahalo nui to Kaleo Oiwi, Donovan Preza, Robert
        Freitas, Jr., Jim Smith, Tammie Perreira, Nanci
        Munroe and Dexter Kaiama your due diligence and
        timely implementation of that request have yielded
        an awesome result! We’re turning the corner!

        What a coincidence, we have just enough people on
        the Mahalo list to replace those on the HEWA list!

        Lets move to get the HEWA BOT out and put the
        PONO people in!

        A hui hou,

  1. I think it’s time for Robert Klein to immediately resign from his position as OHA’s
    BOT legal counsel. I also think he should be permanently disbarred for his
    above the law behavior!
    OHA must file a lawsuit against attorney Robert Klein to recover all monies
    paid for his services, not only because of his bad advise, but because of his
    failure to investigate a direct warning from another licensed attorney of potential
    violations of the sunshine law.

    It’s nice to see this law functioning the way it’s designed to work, albeit in a
    jurisdiction void of proper authority.

    • I agree with Kanekeawe and to include the Chairman of the Roll Commission. The arrogance of the BOT have lead to these violations and they too should be included in any wrong decisions that have lead to the disruption of OHA’s daily operations. The time and money wasted has cost us the beneficiaries quality needs for health, housing, education,kupuna care etc. BOT should be liable and a law suit should be filled for the misappropriate of Trust Funds and removal from office.

      With suspicion I believe all these recent law breaking information of BOT were held back until after the general election. Have we known about these major concerns the OHA election results would have removed those BOT who supported and agreed on the legal counsel advise. Especially one Trustee who called us ignorant and disrespectful Hawaiians.

      It is time to clean house. Because we were not informed prior to the general election of the law breaking advise is there an election clause that allows to have a re-election of BOT or have them removed from office due to just cause.

      Now if the law follow through with the “TRUTH” of the illegal overthrow, illegal occupation and war crimes the law would be pono. As each day goes by we have gain more knowledge and the “TRUTH” is becoming known throughout the world.

  2. Should we expect anything less from these career criminals. These are standard operating procedures for these traitors. They need to be impeached and disbarred at the very least. MHO

  3. The Hawaiian Kingdom would do well by starting a database of undesirables and people of questionable character. We can start by making Judge Robert G. Klein the 1st candidate.

    • As we evolve into the 20th century, The advancement of correct and applicable “Sunshine Law” still stands. We have these pillar of rogue individuals operating in the good old days mentality. Seemingly asserting there dying agenda with impunity, they are trying to stay relevant to their oppressive mandated ways. Their legal council advice is flawed and riddled with dereliction of duty. We are witnessing a classic case of “Blind Leading the Blind”. But with a twist paid counsel. Pure Greed, Politics, Power, Money. .. The consequences of violating the “Sunshine Law” have stiff and heavy ramifications attached to it. Let this be a pre-cursor to any individual, or organization your true intent is noted as such. It will be handled and settled in the proper court of law.

      • Judge Klein should be be listed as a “person of interest” regarding the Hawaiian Kingdom’ as a Nation State. As we move along toward H/K Restoration, it will be revealed that he has been a major player, who has aided and facilitated the Fed Rec Agenda of the US and it’s principal authors Inouye & Akaka. He now appears to be the principal choreographer of their now defunct agendas. Upon the reinstatement of the H/K he appears libel for criminal prosecution and banishment. What he has done in recent months is nothing short of fraudulent jurisprudence and must be held responsible for his actions and malpractice. His rescindence letter advice to OHA of Dr Crabbe’s letter to US Sec’try John Kerry was indeed a denial of due process, not only for Dr Crabbe, but also the H/K Citizen Nationals. He has perpetuated the belligerent US Occupation, the H/K peoples right to know and the denial of their human rights.

  4. He is just acting with the same arrogance and the same disdain (over and for the Hawaiian Kingdom and her citizens) that he and his “cronies” including his “ancester’s” have done for the past 121+ years! Aloha ia Apau!

  5. Truth be told Robert G Klein is “above the Flaw”, but the truth shall set him free and banishment to where he came from. Good riddance!

  6. Ok, let’s see how we can pursue the enforcement of this crime. The OIP states that anyone who violates the Sunshine Law can be sued for said violation and/or tried for said criminal offense which is a misdomeanor under State law. Who becomes the victim in this case? Is it the original requesters mentioned in the original complaint and investigation. Is it the OIP? Can it be of us as individuals? Do we file these criminal complaints with Police dept. or the Sheriffs dept.?

    • These stories of what the State of Hawaii, its agents and agencies are doing interest me very little, these are the actions that take us away from what really matters, our people, our government and our Kingdom, we have to much work in front of us to be caught up in the politics of another country. There are numerous armed foreign men and women running around our Hawaii archipelago violating the civil codes of the Hawaiian islands, international laws and the laws of their own country, we need to maintain a repository of all the criminal acts these foreigners commit against our citizens and subjects alike.
      Is the sunshine law an American policy or does it belong to us?
      Let them sort out there own agencies wrong doings, we should concentrate on our own politic, lets not get confused about our responsibilities, we own the right to perfect a remedy for crimes committed against our freedoms to life, liberty and the continuing deprivation you and I, our kupuna and our keiki are suffering today, our Alii that have past is not in vain we are still here…

      Imua ke Akua

  7. Aloha Kuhina, I believe a path for our deoccupation is already underway through an international process. However, if we can hold these career criminals accountable in their own law we should. This may provide the oppurtunity to remove these well paid traitors and replace them with people that could actually promote an international remedy. Holding them accountable would keep them in check. Using the occupiers system against themselves slows them down. It’s also a strategy the Baltic States used for their independence. It’s like we are MMA fighters, if we can’t get the knock out we use what ever technique we need to wear them out and set them up for a tap out. Hey a win is a win. MHO

  8. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the actions of the Board of Tustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs can, in many cases, be best described as being unethical, unlawful and illegal. After all OHA is an agency of an illegal government that is the puppet regime of an unlawful occupier.

    ali’i aloha aina

  9. Mr. Robert G. Klein, based on the facts described in this article, the unethical behavior of your Profession is highly inevitable in the public’s eye. I am a Pro-se Litigant in Hawai’i, 17yrs of Para-legal background included. But, none the less where I see someone of your status in your Profession of Legal destroy the trust of those who diligently acquire their oath of service to the public.

    In primary conjunction to the fact that you have violated your own oath of Legal trust to the public under the Hawai’i Bar Association Rules and Regulations, ABA Rule 1.7 Conflict of interest General rule, 1.10 Inputation of conflict of interest Gen Rule, 8.4 a,b,e Misconduct.

    I cannot condone the fact that no one is responsible for such acts without stating in full, that all of the Trustee’s are as well responsible and in violation along with Crabb, and yourself.

    As long as the words ” Knowledge ” is imminent, it perceives implication of knowing, even by the slightest doubt or hint. That in itself becomes a liable cause of action, not physically, but mentally.


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