by Doug White on 8 November 2007 at http://poinography.com
A lawsuit filed by a former state archeologist terminated from the
Historic Preservation Division may get interesting. A few articles
scratch the surface (West Hawaii Today, Star-Bulletin, and Advertiser),
but Ian Lind gets to the heart of the matter and posts the actual
lawsuit and exhibits.
First, a few internet-related aspects of the suit. One of the
defendants named in the suit, an archeologist at the Historic
Preservation Division named Nancy McMahon, runs a tourism concession on
Kauai called Kauai Hummer Safari.
Turn the clock back a thousand years on our Hummer expedition into
Kauai’s ancient rain forests. You will see historical sites [ahem];
experience the unforgettable feel of a rain forest, view spectacular
waterfalls and secluded pools. See the lush tropical jungles the way
ancient Hawaiians did.
I was not aware that ancient Hawaiians cruised around the jungle in paramilitary 4X4s? Heh.
Next, it mentions another defendant, Ashley Chinen, who “wrote on
internet blogs that were published throughout the state of Hawaii.” The
plaintiff is going after AC for “false, hurtful, and malicious
statements” made in that blog comment and he intends to show that he
was defamed by that and other similar comments. Uh, okay, good luck
Interesting, but let us plow onward. Have a look at the more explosive
allegations in paragraphs 143 through 155 (transcribed here by hand, so
hopefully there are few/no typos):
143. Defendant AWANA would regularly make phone calls to Defendant
MELANIE CHINEN to tell Defendant MELANIE CHINEN what projects to fast
track and what projects to hinder.
144. Plaintiff knew that Defendant AWANA regularly called because on
several occasions Plaintiff heard Defendant AWANA on the phone and
numerous times Defendant MELANIE CHINEN would refer to Defendant AWANA
as the one who called.
145. At other times Defendant MELANIE CHINEN would refer to such calls as “from the Governor’s office.”
146. After such conversations, Defendant MELANIE CHINEN would say that
the governor’s office wanted the approval of certain projects to happen
147. As set forth above in 30, Plaintiff often objected to such approval based on ethical and legal reasons.
148. When Plaintiff objected, Defendant MELANIE CHINEN said or implied
that Plaintiff would not be working at SHPD unless he became a “team
149. On or about April, 2006, Plaintiff was called in Defendant MELANIE
CHINEN and introduced to her “friend” Defendant LAURA THIELEN.
150. Defendants asked Plaintiff if he could provide an archeological
report that would help a piece of land be rezoned without difficulty.
151. Defendant MELANIE CHINEN had not asked Plaintiff to research the
land and he had no reason to know anything about the archaeological
features on the land.
152. Plaintiff stated that he would have to do a survey according to
the laws and regulations and would have to see if the land had any
archeological features before he could sign a report.
153. By their body language and voice tone, Defendants were not pleased
with Plaintiff’s answer and asked him to leave the office.
154. Defendants have consulted and communicated at other times to discuss fast tracking projects.
155. Defendants had a common plan of using SHPD to fast track or stall
projects for political reasons, often violating state statutes, state
administrative rules, state ethics, professional archeological
standards, and/or Hawaiian cultural values.
If the plaintiff is able to prove any or all of these allegations, then
it will be interesting to see if Awana implicates Governor Lingle in
any of this. Lots of other interesting nuggets throughout that lawsuit,
too, for those of you with a spare hour to kill.