Saturday, April 12, 2008

WESPAC: Under Investigation

What is WESPAC hiding?

According to the Honolulu Advertiser, "Peter Young, a council member and the former head of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, said he was never provided the detailed budgets he repeatedly asked for until he filed a Freedom of Information Act request."

What's up with that? I've seen some of the stories in the paper about WESPAC's upcoming Federal investigation, but what is the real reason behind the investigation? Why are they being investigated?

After sharing my inquisitiveness with local investigative reporter Brad Ruszala, he sent me this link.


The website hasn't been updated to include the latest round of accusations against WESPAC, but it does shed some light on some of their alleged illegal activities.

According to the website:
On March 13, 2007, Keiko Bonk, Campaign Director for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Network filed a written complaint with the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Wespac) Chair, Sean Martin shortly after being told to leave a public meeting of a clandestine group of "certain fishermen" which was taking place "directly across the hall" from the 137th meeting of Wespac. Later, Bonk learned that the meeting in question, held in a Wespac paid-for conference room with members who had been flown in with Wespac paid-for tickets, was held to drum up support for three bills working their way through the Hawai`i State Legislature. Bonk stepped back across the hall and during a moment reserved for public comment, asked the full Wespac Council if they were aware of Federal Wespac monies being spent to lobby the Hawai`i State legislature. Bonk's complaint asking the official to investigate exactly what Wespac staff were doing and to assure the public it would never happen again went unanswered.
Who knew that using taxpayer money to lobby was illegal?

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