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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, June 20, 2001

OHA job interviews at Pacific Club criticized

By Jessica Webster
Advertiser Staff Writer

More wrangling plagues the hiring process for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs administrator — and the latest snarl regards candidate interviews at the Pacific Club.

Four OHA trustees signed a letter Monday saying they would boycott any interviews of candidates conducted at the Pacific Club because of the nonpublic and historically exclusive nature of the place.

The letter states: "Unlike the Pacific Club, no one is denied entry to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Unlike the Pacific Club, there does not exist any dress code. Finally, the Pacific Club's history on restricting Asians and women (makes it) an inappropriate place for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to conduct public business."

Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said the interviews were scheduled at the Pacific Club because of its central location and to protect the privacy of the finalists. The names of the finalists, however, were leaked last week.

The trustees who signed the boycott letter — Rowena Akana, Linda Dela Cruz, Clayton Hee and Charles Ota — were unsuccessful in their attempts on Monday to change the site of the meetings.

Pacific Club officials had no comment.

Dela Cruz changed her mind Monday; Akana did the same yesterday. Dela Cruz attended both days and Akana attended yesterday when she learned the Pacific Club would allow the public in the club during the executive session interviews. Ota called in sick from Maui and Hee did not attend.

The quandary over the interview location comes in the wake of several hiring procedure disputes, namely arguments over the administrator's $85,000 salary, the length of the interview process, the confidentiality of the candidate list and the closed-session interviews.

The candidate finalists include Patricia Brandt, a former assistant to then-Gov. John Waihe'e; Jan Dill, a local businessman; Colin Kippen, OHA's deputy administrator; Clyde Namu'o, a state judiciary deputy administrator; Robert Ozaki, a former vice president at the Queen's Health Systems and Amfac Inc.; and Winona Rubin, an aide to OHA Chairwoman Apoliona and a former state human services director.