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Tuesday, October 24, 2000

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First non-
Hawaiian OHA
trustee is richest

Charles Ota's assets are
$9.5 million; all hopefuls make
financial disclosures

By Pat Omandam

The first non-Hawaiian trustee on the Office of Hawaiian Affairs interim board is also the wealthiest trustee, with assets of more than $9.5 million, according to a review of the financial disclosure statements filed for most of the 96 OHA candidates.

Charles S. Ota, a Maui businessman and the first non-Hawaiian appointed trustee, listed $2.8 million in real estate investments and another $5.7 million in business investments in the financial statements filed with the state Ethics Commission.

When combined with cash, personal property and income, Ota's total assets was reported at $9.56 million, the most for any of the 96 candidates running for OHA's nine board seats.

"Well, I've been in business 50 years so it takes 50 years to get going," Ota said yesterday.

Ota, who listed his occupation as self-employed, is an officer or director of six businesses, including Naka's Travel and Honolulu Agency Inc. His real estate holdings include apartments at Kaanapali Plantation and Harbor Square, as well as two parcels of land on Maui valued at $2.4 million.

"I still run my businesses, not on a full-time basis, but I still run them and tend all my different businesses," Ota said.

The financial disclosure statements -- which are filed so the public can learn about potential conflicts of interests for candidates -- list a candidate's sources of income, business interests, debts, real property interests, business positions and creditor interest in insolvent businesses. The amount of the financial disclosure can be listed in broad ranges, although some gave exact amounts.

The OHA candidates come from all walks of life including attorneys, tax consultants, the retired, unemployed, tour guides, farmers, police officers and traffic crossing guards. Other jobs listed were ministers, coaches, retired professors and an 'awa processor.

Former Kamehameha Schools trustee and OHA candidate Oswald Stender listed combined income and property valued between $2.11 million and $2.22 million. Stender, however, reported debts between $1.16 million and $1.275 million, most from real estate and personal loans.

Takamine won $4K in Vegas

Candidate John Waihee IV, the 30-year-old son of former Gov. John Waihee, earns $16,000 a year as a bar manager for JCN Enterprise and Keo's Enterprises.

Kumu hula Vicky Holt Takamine earns $48,500 as a lecturer, teacher, hula instructor and businesswoman. She also reported $4,000 in jackpot winnings in March from her favorite $5 "Black & Gold" slot machine at the California Hotel in Las Vegas.

"It was one $5 coin," Takamine said. "I dropped it in, and it hit."

Among those on OHA's interim board, former Big Island Mayor Dante Carpenter earns between $28,000 and $80,000 a year as a consultant and as the owner of Pacific Waste Inc. Also, he receives between $50,000 and $100,000 from retirement pensions.

Along with his pay as trustee, interim board chairman Clayton Hee receives rental income of between $10,000 and $25,000 as well as less than $10,000 as co-owner of the Cowboy Co., a rodeo promotion company. Hee's real estate holdings on Molokai, Kaneohe and Kaimuki are valued between $450,000 and $850,000.

Meanwhile, candidate John L. Sabey of Aiea listed himself as semiretired from the state tax office and as a professional pianist. Sabey reports that his 37 acres of property in Hana, Maui, are valued at $1.4 million.

Former trustee Haunani Apoliona valued her Frank Street residence between $250,000 and $500,000. She also inherited a rental dwelling in Kaneohe valued at another $220,000.

Apoliona's income included her job as former trustee, as well as less than $10,000 as a member of Olomana/Gerald K. Santos, and less than $25,000 as a director of the Bank of Hawaii/Pacific Century Trust.

Some haven't filed yet

Candidate Kenneth Conklin earns less than $10,000 as a census enumerator for the U.S. Census Bureau. Attorney Richard Lee reports income of about $150,000.

Both Conklin and Lee are among the dozen non-Hawaiian candidates running for OHA.

The commission said that as of last week it did not receive disclosure statements from interim trustee Jean Ilei K. Beniamina and Thurston Robinson. State laws allow for a late filing penalty of $25.


Here's a snapshot of the occupations and earnings of a dozen of the 96 candidates running for nine OHA seats, as reported to the state Ethics Commission:

Bullet Darrow L. Aiona: Receives $32,616 in pension as a retired Leeward Community College professor. Earns $19,200 a year as a rector at St. Mark's Church.

Bullet Denise M.C. DeCosta: Earns $69,000 as executive assistant to the Honolulu Board of Water Supply.

Bullet Maitland P.K. Elderts: Earns less than $10,000 a year as a coach for Nanakuli High School and less than $10,000 a year as a substitute teacher.

Bullet Louis Hao: Receives $21,600 a year pension from Maui County. Earns $12,000 a year as a service representative for Foto Fantasy.

Bullet Colette Machado: Earns $20,000 a year as executive director of Ke Kua'aina Hanaina Hou on Molokai. Also listed income of $32,000 as former OHA trustee.

Bullet Craig Kahui: Earns $3,360 a year as a lawn maintenance and repair man.

Bullet Mike Kauhane: Earns $30,000 a year as an auto consultant.

Bullet Samuel Kealoha: Farmer. Income not listed.

Bullet Victor Peltier: Earns between $25,000 and $50,000 a year as a city wastewater treatment plant operator.

Bullet Charles Rose: Earns $74,779 as staff investigator for the federal Office of the Public Defender. Receives another $25,000 in retirement pension.

Bullet Healani G.G. Waiwai'ole: Earns $9,700 a year as an editorial assistant at The Garden Island newspaper.

Bullet Greg Wongham: Earns $40,000 a year as a processor of 'awa for 'Awa & Herbs Hawaii Inc.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

State Office of Elections

E-mail to City Desk

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