Pilikea in Palau
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
~ o ~
DEATH IN PALAU VIDEO
~ ~ ~
December 1, 2006
PALAU BANK OFFICIALS OWE MILLIONS
IN UNSECURED LOANS
By Mark-Alexander Pieper, Pacific Daily News
HAGATNA, Guam – Thousands of Palauan citizens and others with accounts at the now-defunct Pacific Savings Bank face a financial crisis after the bank was put into receivership last month.
Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. is considering a number of ways to lessen the burden on his citizens, including borrowing millions on the bond market to protect the bank's customers from losing their savings and loans.
Pacific Savings Bank Ltd. is estimated to be US$12 million in the hole and has been deemed insolvent, had its license revoked and was placed into receivership Nov. 7 by Palau's Financial Institutions Commission, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Special Supervision Division Web site.
Pacific Savings Bank was the first locally owned bank in Palau and is believed to have more than 7,000 customers and more than US$20 million in deposits, according to the World-Check online international financial database.
Several businesses including schools, tour groups and hotels that had their money in the bank are now in murky waters.
Sam Scott, a member of the Belau Tourism Association board of directors and member of the Pacific Asian Travel Association, said an audit released days before the bank closed showed that several members of the Pacific Savings Bank board of directors took out unsecured personal loans in the millions.
A copy of the audit report was not available as of press time last night.
Officials from Pacific Savings Bank and FIC Executive Commissioner G. Semdiu Decherong could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Scott and other members of the Belau Tourism Association and Palau Chamber of Commerce have reviewed the audit and have been meeting with government officials and the International Monetary Fund about the situation.
"The impact has been kind of severe because a lot of people put their money into that bank with the trust that this is a locally owned bank and the fact that some of the state governments had also put their money there as well," said Scott, whose business Sam's Dive Tours kept a few of its small savings accounts with the bank.
"The bottom line is the board of directors basically took loans out with no security on those loans, they borrowed that money and none of it was paid back."
With the bank in receivership there is a chance that patrons may not lose their savings.
Receivership is a form of bankruptcy in which a company can avoid liquidation by reorganizing with the help of a court-appointed trustee. In this case that appointee is Kaleb Udui Jr., president of National Development Bank of Palau, according to the Web site.
Udui is in Malaysia and could not be reached for comment.
Larry Goddard, Remengesau's legal counsel, said the president of the island nation – a member of the United Nations – is meeting with government and banking officials to try to determine how severe the situation is and what the best course of action may be.
"The president is still working out how to resolve this but he has indicated that he wants a full reimbursement for the depositors of the bank," Goddard said.
The Palau government's annual budget, minus federal grant money, is in the US$50 million range, Goddard said.
That means if the government tries to cover the cost of the US$12 million loss, it would be trying to cover a shortfall equal to about one-fourth of its budget.
Scott said some senators and other prominent members of Palau's community are looking into possibly pursuing a class-action lawsuit against the bank's board of directors to recoup the potentially lost deposits.
Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com
Copyright © 2006 Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved
PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT
Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i
From The Catbird’s Forum:
Date Posted: 10:12:03 01/13/07 Sat
Author: Truth Seeker
Subject: ELVIN R. MEEK AND THE HAWAII-PALAU CONNECTION
RE: Elvin R Meek Probate Case and Palau Government
This case involves the questionable circumstances surrounding our Father's death in October of 2003 in Hawaii.
The case involves: Elizabeth Asanuma Reklai Meek who was Elvin Meek's 5th wife, and her former husband John Reklai, a Senator in Koror Palau, his daughter with Elizabeth, DeeLola Reklai-Meek, as well as Robert "Grigger" Jones, her attorney from Atascadero who drew up the last will and amendments in California, while our father was in Hawaii and incapacitated/comatose (according to Hospital/Medical records we have obtained).
Our father passed away shortly afterwards. The information we are seeking concerns the Elvin Meek Probate and Elder Abuse case that is still before the courts in Hawaii.
Anyone with any information regarding this case can post information in our Forum at:
All responses are treated with discretion, and will be greatly appreciated.
MicSem General Discussion:
Pacific Savings Bank:
Palau Grifters Again?
Comment Author Tokai
Comment Time Nov 23rd 2006
Does the recent news of the Palau Savings Bank going belly up have an FSM ramification? Isn't the non-Bank FSM in Yap connected with these con artists? Can we expect such luminaries as Alan Seid, Johnny Reklai etc. to be coming thru the FSM again with their hands out? Sound familiar? Palauans in their commercial life put a whole new meaning on the words "accountability" and "transparency". I wonder if the Yapese will ever get tired of being fleeced by these crooks.
~ ~ ~
Comment Author SAWGAGAI
Comment Time Nov 23rd 2006
We have witnessed how ruthless Bank of FSM treat their competitors. The yapese people wish to discourage all corporation monopoly, regardless what Palikir thinks. It is common knowledge that corporation competition means better services and lower costs to the customers.
Anyway, did Yap or any yapese individual lose money at Palau Savings Bank or Ayuw Credit Union? If not, then you should hold your peace, since it was Chief Andrew Ruepong who introduced Ayuw Bank over the radio, to the yapese people. He would not misguide his own people.
~ ~ ~
Comment Author Prince
Comment Time Nov 23rd 2006
In early 2004, the Palau Savings Bank attempted to establish a branch operation in Yap. It was rejected by the FSM Banking Board simply because it could not provide an audit financial statement of its operations. The proposal offered to the FSM Banking Board to consider licensing its branch operation in Yap was a mere one page document. That was not acceptable either. Who in their right mind would approve a one page investment proposal?
Along with the Marshals, Palau is amongst those territories blacklisted for strong possibilities for invasive money laundering seepage into its banking system as its major banks are relatively relaxed in terms of supervisory and proper depository insurances.
With the rejection of the proposed Bank branch in Yap, they came back when they realized that the Banking Board had no jurisdictions over credit unions. As a result, the Ayuw Credit Union was born. Attempts by the FSM Banking Board to look into this was proven fruitless because credit unions are not within their scope for supervision.
The FSM Banking Board tried to amend current FSM Banking Laws to include credit unions under their supervisory arm as an effort to deter this suspicious motive by the Palau Savings Bank to establish business in the FSM (Yap) but was again fruitless because the law would engulf all other credit unions such as the Mesenieng Credit Union in Pohnpei, Chuuk Credit Union and several smaller co-ops in Yap that are purely private local ventures with absolute absence of foreign intrusion or involvement.
The recent downfall of the Palau Savings Bank did not come as a surprise.
Its motive to establish business in the FSM and most especially Yap were
clear indications that it was in trouble. The FSM and especially the State of
Yap does not have a lucrative economy enough to entice major foreign Banks
to want to invest in. They were up to something else.
In due time the Ayuw Credit Union will bite the bullet. Trust me. These are the same people that toppled the Palau Savings Bank. I would be very critical of where I save my money for the next few months and down the road.
~ ~ ~
Comment Author SAWGAGAI
Comment Time Nov 24th 2006
Like the recent election held in yap, this too will unfold in the near future. If Ayuw Credit Union survives, you can count on it that yapese will continue to favor entities that establish competition against monopolizing corporations.
~ ~ ~
Comment Author kaptalwach
Comment Time Nov 24th 2006
HEY! I have money there, will this bank close???!!! Ayaka! Gog ngo mew! Halewe! Mang kam riin? I dont like this kind of pull pull your leg, and uh....
~ ~ ~
Comment Author hcb
Comment Time Nov 26th 2006
There is a UK investment and development company that recently plan to invest a substantial amount of $1.3 billion in Palau. This same company also wants to bail out the insolvent Pacific Saving Bank a.k.a Palau Saving Bank from filing for bankruptcy with a $20 million lump sum payment with some exchange in return for authoritative proxy. The Palau Senate is looking into this with full support.
~ ~ ~
Just a piece of info.
Comment Author uperem
Comment Time Nov 27th 2006
Pacific Savings Bank is no longer in exist or might I say insolvent as of today. The incorporators and their close families are under close watch and are being investigated by the Palau Financial Institution Commision...the whole ten yards but I don't think FIC has the means to do the investigation. If the the investigating team will be incorporated by the governement of Palau alone....I would say sorry to all the depositos....good bye taro.
Mr. Tim Taunton who has about 32% share left a day after the Financial Institution Commission put a chain around the PSB door. The FIC officers, mainly the Chairman of the FIC mentioned that Palau Government did not have enought evidence to hold him, Mr. Taunton, from leaving Palau at that time.
The other incorporator who holds about 18%, an also the President of the Senate (OEK) has not publicly say anything and many depositors are waiting anxiously to hear what he has to say. The motive is up for grabs for now and the OEK are sending a resolution to the President to have an independent firm to investigate the matter and I think its a good idea for now because all Palauans deserves the right to know ASAP.
So as of now, holidaysa are just around the corner and the good news is....all the depositors with 2K and below in the bank will get that much only....hopefully before Christmas and If you have more than that...sorry... you will only get 2K out of whatever you have in the bank.
Could someone show me how to get copy of the law banking system in Palau, FSM and the Marshalls?
~ ~ ~
Comment Author uperem
Comment Time Nov 27th 2006
Here are are some loans that were given out to some people, probably incorporators or close relative or might be an employee of the Palau Savings Bank, the amounts are huge..... which contributed to its fall.....according to some findings from a Certified Public Accountant, letter dated on May 17, 2006.
Loan Number 03-06812/$785,618.00 - Account appears to be for both advances to affiliate and Bank expenses. Account was used for current year and prior year expenses. Current year expenses charge to this account were $5,000.00 for officer medical expenses and $25,000.00 for unknown expenses. Prior year expenses appear to be for construction, benefits, bonuses and commissions fo officers and employees. Construction costs appear to be advances to affilliate which will require proper loan documentation. There is no currently promisory note, loan application pr proper loan approval.
Loan Number 03-04766/$227,777.00 - There is no loan application or evidence of loan approval in loan file. There is a promissory note with an amount of $140,000.00 scratched out and change to $145,000.00 without initials of who change the promissory note. Collateral appears to be a vessel but there is no boat registration in the loan file to show the Bank as lein holder. Additionally, the loan is being reduced by a recurring accounting entry through charges from Officers Financial Corporation, a related party
Loan Number 03-04771/$1,621,091.00 - There is no loan application, promissory note or other loan documentation in support of loan in the file or any evidence of loan approval. All that is in the loan file are check vocuhers and invoices to support the amounts disbursed.
Loan Number 03-04824/$1,367,037.00 - All that is in the loan file is an unsigned promissory Note in the amount of $1,367,037.00 ....there is no evidence of loan approval.
Some more will be published in a couple of days....
~ ~ ~
Comment Author Friend
Comment Time Nov 27th 2006
Please clearfy which bank is Belau Saving bank. Is this the Bank which is closer to the Catholic High School? It the bank OPERATED by the American? I would like to know.
~ ~ ~
Comment Author uperem
Comment Time Nov 27th 2006
Yes....it was located next to that Catholic High School.....but now has moved to NECO Plaza...right across the Palau Community College and right next to the Bank of Hawaii.
~ ~ ~
Comment Author Taxi-Womw
Comment Time Nov 27th 2006
Tokai and Prince,
Thanks for sharing the Palau Savings Bank's story on this Forum. Although the PSB story may not really have a direct adverse effect on FSM shareholders and depositors, it should at least demand some attention from our FSM regulatory people to start conceptualizing the necessary responses.
We would really like to learn more about the relationship between the insolvent Palau Savings Bank and that Ayuw Credit Union in Yap: i.e. whether Ayuw is some kine of a subsidiary of PBS. Because if it is, then the insolvency of PSB will have an impact on Ayuw. As we understand the latest on the story, PSB in now in receivership, and the receiver is in the process of ascertaining all assets of the insolvent PSB. Since the receivership is reportedly a liquidation receivership, (which means for the purpose of paying back the creditors and investors their money), if PSB holds any interest in that Ayuw Credit Union in Yap, it is likely the receiver might also have to liquidate that PSB Ayuw interest. At the very least, there may eventually be a change in the identity of the holder of that PSB interest in the Ayuw Credit Union, possibly one of the PSB creditors. That would be the immediate business effect of the PSB insolvency and liquidation receivership on the ownership interest in Ayuw Credit Union.
There is another aspect of the PSB story worth noting by the FSM governments and people, not just the investing public. In the span of less than two years, at least so far as is made public, Palau Savings Bank has become the second major Palau business investment involving millions of dollars that goes under. The first one of course was Palau Micronesia Air which did involve substantial investments by FSM people and governments. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention millions of dollars, invested by any FSM citizen or government entity, no matter what anybody's veiwpoints may be, are a lot of money for FSM citizens to simply go down the tube, one after another!!
While it is natually good policy for the FSM to maintain good relations with Palau and the Marshall Island Government, it is equally prudent policy for the FSM to start empowering an entity within the FSM Government to protect FSM citizens' investments much like a Securities Regulatory Agency. Afterall, such capital investments are securities in those business ventures, and such an agency within the FSM Government should at least have the function of screening all such proposed business ventures and keep track of all FSM citizens' securities investments. Such an agency function could be assigned to a joint-entity consisting of some appropriately knowledgeable individiual in the FSM Dept of Justice and a similar person in the Economic Affairs Department, Corporate Registrar's Division, at least to minimize opposition to an appearance of creating more bureaucracy.
But we must realize FSM is now exposed (discovered?) in the international business and financing world, and it will necessitate some new reorganization and delineation of functions within the FSM Government to meet the demands of that exposure into the international business world. Otherwise, the FSM people and government entities will remain easy pickings by aggressive outside investors. (I.e. We have also just learned of another new outside entity, the GMP, now doing business under questionable arrangements with the Government itself).
There is no question that the ongoing debate in our islands and governments is over the need for sustainable economic development. Consequently, our poor governments and economies would love nothing more than joining any new economic and business investment opportunities coming our ways. But as we know, investment is indeed a risky business, and securities regulation, at least so far as registration and fraud prevention are concerned, has been one of the proven ways of minimizing those risks. At this stage where our FSM investors are still not as savy or sophisticated as the regular players and conartists on the international scene, our FSM Government has the responsibility of providing that security.
The PSB relationship with the creation of the Ayuw Credit Union is especially curious, in light of your report that PSB's banking application was turned down by the FSM Banking Board. For one thing, it suggests that the people behind the Palau Savings Bank were actually looking for a way to get into the FSM investment market behind the Banking Board's back! According to the Pacific Magazine's report on PSB, an audit finds PSB both insolvent and illiquid, meaning not only that that so-called Palau Savings Bank's liabilities not only exceeded its assets, but did not have enough cash to meet demands on deposits!
So the picture is that while PSB may not have had enough cash for its management's enjoyment, if it were a major stakeholder in the Yap Credit Union Ayuw, it would have been diverting Yapese investor's cash to the PSB mother branch in Koror. Does not that remind anyone of the mysterious partnerships created by Enron to suck cash from all partnership investors into the Enron Main Office? While the various partners were left out dry, waiting for returns on their investments, the Enron Main Office management people were burning their cash in lavish lifestyles!
I hate to ask the question, but DO THE PALAU SAVINGS BANK PEOPLE ACTUALLY THINK THEY CAN EASILY FOOL OUR AVERAGE FSM INVESTORS?? Don't they at least think we may have heard about the Enron story on CNN, or read Kurt Eichenwald's book, Serpent On The Rock, (about how Prudential's Investment Group defrauded millions of investors through flakey partnerships), that we can at least tell when a business scam, i.e. PSB or PMA, smells like a rotten Palauan bettle nut?
I guess, after PMA did collect substantial investments from FSM investors, PSB must have thought they can also come into the FSM and do the same. Why not?
For FSMers, then, it is advisable that while they pay attention and learn from the PSB debacle, they also keep an eye out for this new proposal from the Philippine airline, Asian Spirit, and its relationship with the defunct Palau Micronesian Air. If the Palau and Phillippine governments are keen on pushing for Asian Spirit to revive and utilize PMA FSM routes to benefit the inflow of Philippino labors in Palau and their bilateral trade, this will give the FSM and opportunity to demand increase control in the overall venture. Philippino airline flights and labors into the FSM is a significant Philippino government interest that should be leveraged in the FSM's favor.
Hopefully, our FSM leaders in Palikir are not falling asleep nor too preoccupied with their election. As these events are suggesting, even our beloved neighbors could make troublesome business partners.
~ ~ ~
Comment Author Rebel
Comment Time Nov 28th 2006
From now on I will not bank my money anymore. I will just simply stash it under my bed as I am becoming more worry about the kind of banking exercises as revealed on this forum. Watch out FSM, Palau is moving in your territory via Yap to test its feet before firmly planting them on the ground. What about the Asian Spirit Air Line? I better stick to Continental Air Mike. At least it is saver eventhough it costs me a lot to fly. Oh and I like their stewardess too. They always wink at me.
Watching your every steps Paluans...
~ ~ ~
Comment Author uperem
Comment Time Nov 29th 2006
There you go Taxi-Womw...I couldn't have said it better......and watch out for the Asian Spirit too. If the offer is too good....make sure it's not another one page investment proposal....kinisou Prince.
Rebel....don't stack too much money under your bed...get a safe...
March 29, 2006
Nature Conservancy, Conservation International Pledge Six Million Dollars to Protect Pacific Islands
Supports Governments in Efforts to Protect almost
200,000 Square Kilometers across Micronesia
The Nature Conservancy
~ ~ ~
Curitiba, Brazil— The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International committed US$6 million towards conservation across Micronesia, a region in the Pacific Ocean stretching from Hawaii to the Philippines.
The pledge was a direct response to commitments by six Micronesian nations and territories to protect a total combined marine and terrestrial area of almost 200,000 square kilometers, twice the size of Portugal.
The financial support by two of the world’s leading conservation organizations will help these islands establish protected areas across this region of incredibly diverse tropical marine life and highly endangered terrestrial biodiversity.
The US$6 million pledge is designed to generate matching funds from other financing sources including donor countries, the Global Environment Facility or regional finance mechanisms like the Asian Development Bank. The match, when fulfilled, will result in a total of US$18 million directed to protected areas and conservation across Micronesia.
“Our pledge is inspired by the leadership shown by Micronesian islands in committing to the establishment of protected areas,” said Steve McCormick, President of The Nature Conservancy, referring to the Micronesia Challenge to protect 30 percent of near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of terrestrial resources on their islands by 2020.
“We now challenge others – governments, funders, communities and NGOs – to join this rising tide and support these islands as they strive to protect the natural resources on which they depend. We encourage other nations to make similar commitments and when they do The Nature Conservancy will be there to help.”
"We are delighted by this commitment made by the governments of this region, which is part of the globally very important Polynesia-Micronesia biodiversity hotspot” said CI President Russell A. Mittermeier.
“We hope that the leadership shown by President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. and his fellow heads-of-state will inspire further action to conserve biodiversity, such as the Republic of Kiribatis decision to protect the incredible Phoenix Islands, one of the largest and most pristine reef systems on Earth. We must work together to prevent invasive species from destroying endangered biodiversity in this part of the world.”
President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. of Palau hosted the ministerial-level dinner and commended both organizations on their efforts: “The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International are demonstrating the kind of partnership and catalytic action that we hoped our actions would create,” he said.
“These kinds of pledges from the international community, coupled with tangible community, state and national commitments to conservation, are critical ingredients to achieving our national and global protected area goals.”
The Micronesia Challenge includes Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The ministerial event of island leaders and supporters was part of the Eighth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which is addressing island biodiversity.
The CBD is expected to adopt a Program of Work that will lay out guidance for island nations and nations with islands for integrated conservation and management of their vital natural resources.
October 27, 2002
Mayor’s Palau trip not reported
A spokeswoman says city attorneys ruled the air fare
and hotel stay did not constitute a gift
By Rick Daysog, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris did not disclose that the Republic of Palau paid for his travel to an environmental conference earlier this summer, in what one city councilwoman said is symptomatic of the Harris administration’s lack of openness.
But a city spokeswoman said that the mayor did not list the trip in his annual disclosure report with the Office of the City Clerk after city attorneys determined that it was not a gift.
Harris was in Palau in late June at the invitation of its president Tommy Remengesau Jr. to deliver the keynote speech for the 21st annual Pacific Islands Environment Conference at the Palasia Hotel in the city of Koror.
The Palau government agreed to pay for Harris’s air fare and hotel costs for the June 24-28 conference, which attracted more than 200 environmental experts and government officials from about a dozen countries, said Tom Yocum, one of the event’s organizers and an official with the Environmental Protection agency.
Yocum, and EPA wetlands expert, said he could not recall the total costs, but that the Palau government received a discounted, $824 air fare with Continental airlines for the mayor. Typically, two-way fares for Honolulu to Palau flights range between $1,600 and $2,000, he said.
Under city ethics laws in effect at the time, elected officials are required to list all gifts that they receive from outside sources. Such gifts include any form of money, goods, services, loans, entertainment, lodging and travel that comes from a donor that has an interest before the city official.
(The city’s ethics law was amended earlier this year to ban all gifts above $200. but the amended law, which took effect July 1, eliminated the reporting requirements for gifts.)
The Palau trim came less than a month after Harris dropped out of this year’s governor’s race. At the time, Harris was considered the Democratic front-runner.
City spokeswoman Carol Costa said city attorneys advised the mayor’s staff in July that the Palau trip is not a gift and should not be included in Harris’ gift disclosure form....
City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi said the omission of Harris’ Palau trip illustrates his administration’s lack of candor.
Kobayashi, a frequent critic of the Harris’ fiscal policies, said the administration has been reluctant to disclose information that should be public....
“It’s a question of accountability,” Kobayashi said. “Why don’t they just disclose these things? What is there to hide?”
Under city law, failure to disclose a gift could result in penalties as severe as impeachment of an elected official. The corporation counsel also could sue a donor or a recipient if a gift is not disclosed.
In his July 31, 2002, gift-disclosure form, Harris revealed that he received more than $21,000 in gifts during the past year, including several honorary memberships to exclusive clubs such as the Waialae Country Club, the Pacific Club and the Mid-Pacific Country Club.
The report, which covered July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002, also said that Harris and his wife, Ramona, each received annual parking passes worth $100 from APCOA Inc. The couple also received movie passes valued at $175 each from Consolidated Theatres, Wallace Theatre and Signature Theatres.
Chuck Totto, executive director of the City Ethics Commission, declined to comment on Harris’ gift report....
For more on APCOA Parking, GO TO > > > APCOA: Vultures in the Parking Lot
<<< FLASHBACK <<<
From Earth Island Institute ... Earth Island Journal - Winter 1996-97:
Corruption, Cover-up in Hawaii
by Carroll Cox
In 1990, I began work as a special agent for the law enforcement division of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in Hawaii and the Pacific Basin – home to nearly 40 percent of endangered species in the US.
I was encouraged by President Clinton’s request that employees report waste, fraud and abuse in government. As part of my daily work, I identified activities that could have negatively affected wildlife, as well as numerous agency misdeeds.
Because I blew the whistle on dubious operations and filed EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) complaints against the FWS, I was subjected to harassment and retaliation by FWS administrators and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit. Finally, on March 25, 1995, I was fired.
In the course of my work for the FWS, I reported misuse of funds by agency personnel. The FWS often rewarded wrongful behavior by promotion or, at the worst, simple transferral to another regional office.
The FWS settled a sexual harassment case that had been brought against my supervisor out of court and ignored his use of a government-issued vehicle for personal business. The FWS transferred him to another facility and placed him on the agency’s prestigious special operations team.
In 1992, I reported that agency personnel possibly were attempting to acquire contaminated land on Maui for use as a wildlife refuge - to cast a favorable light on President Bush for his then-upcoming re-election bid.
I reported that individuals in the FWS who curried political favor were able to interfere and prevent necessary law enforcement activities concerning Bishop Estate land on the island of Hawaii, where clearcut logging of koa trees was destroying several endangered species’ habitat.
When I uncovered the unlawful take, import, export and commercialization of endangered species by members of the Palauan government (then a trust territory in the Pacific Islands, administered by the US), I was punished. My investigations revealed that officials in Palau not only were smuggling endangered species from the Philippines, but also, contrary to US law, were shipping sea turtles to Japan.
Supervisors ordered me to modify reports so that they would not reflect the actual number of endangered birds killed or otherwise affected by a Chevron oil company operation near Campbell Industrial Road on Oahu. The damaged site, a series of ponds, was coated with oil - as were the birds that had settled in the ponds.
Information I obtained revealed that the longline fishing industry was damaging whales, turtles, monk seals, dolphins, sea turtles and thousands of seabirds. When I presented evidence and documentation to the Western Pacific Fisheries Counsel (WPFC) and made recommendations on how to prevent this wanton slaughter, I was told that the WPFC would take action. Instead, the National Marine Fisheries Service sent me a letter directing me not to interview their observers, who, on many occasions, were aboard fishing vessels when the killings occurred.
When all administrative remedies failed, I appealed directly to the public through the media and achieved an enforcement victory. The longline industry was shut down for 90 days.
As a result of my work, I was harassed, subjected to racial discrimination and eventually fired....
Other employees in my office also have been harassed. Michael Hart, one co-worker acting as a witness in both my case and another employee’s case, was found dead in the agency’s office with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Though FBI agents responded to the initial report of a possible assault to a federal officer, they did not investigate further once police had ruled his death a suicide. The day before his death, Hart complained that he had been threatened by his supervisors and was afraid of losing his job.
After I was fired, the US Attorney’s office in Honolulu subpoenaed me as a credible witness on a then-pending case involving drugs, firearms and endangered species, which I had initiated as a special agent - even though that office was and still is representing the government against me on charges of “accepting a bribe.”...
The Office of Special Counsel investigating my case conducted its “formal” investigation during a beer-drinking session with the now deceased co-worker. My letters of appeal to President Clinton, Hawaii’s Congressman Neil Abercrombie and Congresswoman Patsy Mink, Georgia Congressman John Lewis and to other officials have gone unanswered.
It seems the FWS is willing to tolerate questionable acts of ethical and moral behavior but has little compassion for a person who dedicated his heart and soul to protect the public’s interest and ownership of precious resources....
Read the complete article at www.earthisland.org
~ ~ ~
And, visit crusader Carroll Cox’s current website at www.envirowatch.org/
~ ~ ~
See also: www.kycbs.net/AAA-4-12-4.htm
# # #
For more BROKEN TRUSTS,
AIG: The Un-American Group
Alexander & Baldwin
Aloha Airlines: Flying with the Bankruptcy Buzzards
American Savings Bank: Behind the Blinds
Confessions of a Whistleblower
A Connecticut Yankee in King Kamehameha’s Court
BCCI: The Bank of Crooks & Criminals
Behind the Blinds at Bank of Hawaii
The Blackstone Group
Broken Trust: The Book
Buzzards in The Bank of Hawaii
Buzzards of Paradise
The Carlyle Group: Birds than Drink from Cesspools
The Chubb Group
Dirty Gold in Goldman Sachs
Dirty Money, Dirty Politics & Bishop Estate
First Hawaiian Bank: Behind the Blinds
Flying High In Hawaii: Ron Rewald & The CIA
The Grand (and dirty) Ko Olina
Hawaiian Airlines: Flying with the Bankruptcy Buzzards
Henry Paulson’s Secret Treasury
The Rise and Fall of Summit Communications
I Sing The Hawaiian Electric
The Impeachment of George W. Bush
Kajima: Blood, Bribes & Brutality
Marsh & McLennan: The Marsh Birds
Office of the U.S. Trustee vs. Harmon
OUST vs. Everyman: Witness Judge David Ezra
Predators of Paradise
The Puna Connection
Pointing the Finger at WorldPoint
RICO in Paradise
The Eagle Hooded
The Great Nest Egg Robberies!
The Indonesian Connection
The Rise & Fall of Summit Communications
The Silence of the Whistleblowers
Vampires on Gilligan’s Island
The Vampires on Jupiter Island
Vultures of the Sandwich Isles
Yakuza Doodle Dandies
~ o ~
MORE OF THE CATBIRD’S FAVORITE LINKS
THE CATBIRD SEAT FORUM
THE CATBIRD SEAT
~ o ~
FAIR USE NOTICE. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Last update April 13, 2008, by The Catbird