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Thursday, May 5, 2022
Auditor Witch Hunt Over: House Investigators Don't Bother Writing Final Report
By Hawaii State Auditor @ 5:23 PM :: 1304 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

Members of the House of Representatives

Re: Office of the Auditor’s Response to the Final Report of the House Investigative Committee to Investigate Compliance with Audit Nos. 19-12 and 21-01

Dear Representatives:     May 4, 2022

We had intended to publish the enclosed Office of the Auditor’s Response to the Final Report of the House Investigative Committee to Investigate Compliance with Audit Nos. 19-12 and 21-01 after the committee’s report was submitted to the House of Representatives, as the committee is required to do by its authorizing resolution. As far as we can tell, however, the committee issued its report on Saturday, January 29, 2022, only to Speaker Saiki. See Spec. Com. Rep. No. 1-22.

We do not know whether Speaker Saiki or Representative Belatti, the committee chairperson, will present the report to the House of Representatives before adjournment sine die. Even if the final report is not presented to the House of Representatives, it is necessary to address the various inaccuracies, misleading statements, and unsupported conclusions in the committee’s report; it is necessary to clearly establish the committee’s blatant abuse of the limited and very specific investigative power conferred by the House of Representatives in House Resolution No. 164. We believe the response does both and exposes the politically motivated nature of the committee’s efforts to damage the Auditor and exert political pressure on the Office of the Auditor.

We had provided written comments about the committee’s draft report in January, and those are attached as an appendix to the committee’s final report. However, the draft report upon which our comments were based was missing findings, had numerous placeholders, and was missing complete sections altogether. In addition, the committee included other substantive changes to its final report. Those changes further demonstrate the committee’s willingness to disregard not only its legal authority but also the evidence.

Because the committee conspicuously failed in its statutory duty to conduct its proceedings “in a fair and impartial manner,” we are compelled to document the most significant flaws and misleading aspects of the final report and the proceedings that gave rise to it. It is critical that the constitutionally created Office of the Auditor be protected from undue political influence and interference, to ensure our independence, so we can work to provide independent and objective assessments of state programs, hold state agencies accountable, and improve state government.

We hope this abuse of legislative power – this form of political corruption – ends with the termination of the committee upon adjournment sine die.

Very truly yours,

Leslie H. Kondo

State Auditor

PDF: Full Report (76pgs)

LINK: House Investigative Committee to Investigate Compliance with Audit Nos. 19-12 and 21-01

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