In the wake of revelations that state GOP chair
thousands of dollars
from the party's bank account
from the state committee or the executive committee, nor the knowledge of the party's treasurer, and that longtime party boss
led a team including
knowingly and systematically defrauded party donors
, Rohlfing and his fellow officers
refuse to resign
from the increasingly weakened organization.
HIRA's readers asked
which rules and laws appear to have been broken by Fritz Rohlfing.
Here are the party rules which Rohlfing flagrantly disregarded:
Section 308(D): "
The treasurer dispenses the funds of the body as directed by the body through its chair."
There is no exception to this rule. Pat Saiki, who arrogantly insists her integrity is challenge, says party treasurer Gwen Honjo didn't know Rohlfing had secretly grabbed thousands of dollars to pay attorney Mike Lilly. Rohlfing does NOT have the authority to touch the money, even as he pretends to be all-powerful. The fiduciary checks and balances require our party's treasurer to cut the checks; partly based on our recent sad history as disgraced chairman Jonah Kaauwai and current Democrat consultant Dylan Nonaka spent the party into deep debt and put the HQ mortgage at risk. Last month, Rohlfing's fellow officers were caught flat-footed when HIRA broke the news of this scandal because Rohlfing hid his actions from them.
Section 403(H): "
The State Committee shall review and approve the budget proposed by the State Chair."
Rohlfing's budget did not and does not contain funds for suing HIRA or anyone else. To amend the approved budget, Rohlfing needed to obtain approval from fellow officers to shift funds from one part of the very tight budget to a newly-created line item for suing HIRA. With the record of the state committee meeting as proof, he never asked, nor gained, approval.
Section 417. FINANCIAL CONTROL. "
Within a month of being elected and in the final month of each calendar year thereafter, the State Chair will present a state party budget to the State Committee for approval, which shall be subject to periodic review by the State Committee. Except as provided in these Rules, no financial commitment or expenditure may be made unless it is consistent with the Party's budget or management plan or is approved by the State Committee."
No funds for hiring attorneys are in either the approved budget or non-existent management plan, nor were presented to or approved by the state committee. That's why party officers and members across the state are shocked by Rohlfing's flagrant disregard for party rules and state law.
ONLY the treasurer can dispense funds.
hid his actions
from treasurer Honjo to
grab thousands of dollars from the party's bank account
'exert unauthorized control over'
party funds . . .
funds which were never approved by either the state committee or the executive committee; funds which were never offset in the party's tight budget by gaining approval to move them from another part of the approved budget
If a person
shoplifts from a store, and later
his Aunt Pat drives to the store to pay for the stolen goods,
the person is still guilty of shoplifting. Though Rohlfing's fellow officers violated their integrity by voting after-the-fact to approve the spending in order to cover Rohlfing's self-inflicted wounds to his reputation and law career,
Rohlfing still took money he had no authority to take.
Thousands of elections have been lost over much lesser charges of corruption. Protecting Rohlfing comes at a steep political cost to Republicans.
HIRA's attorney learned that Rohlfing's expensive lawyers hired with party funds are now focused on protecting public figure Fritz Rohlfing's personal reputation and legal career from the stain of this theft episode.
Is the party actively funding lawyers to cover Rohlfing's self-inflicted damage to his personal reputation and private law practice rather than the after-the-fact approved purpose of stopping HIRA from using an elephant logo?
Is spending election-targeted donor funds to help cover up the stains to Rohlfing's personal and professional reputation REALLY the business of the Hawaii GOP?
GOP candidates on Election Day will ask why the party doesn't have thousands of dollars available to help them beat Democrats. Rohlfing's exertion of unauthorized control over party funds is being rebranded by party officials and costly lawyers as a 'misunderstanding' by an experienced professional attorney who once aspired to be a Federal judge.
Ironically, Rohlfing led the 2015 initiative for the state committee's approval of a "
has Rohlfing in trouble
if he chooses to NOT resign. This policy sets that party leaders must "use their best efforts and perform their duties in a manner that will promote the Party's goals and objectives" OR face "
removal of the individual from his or her office as a Party officer
". Rohlfing exerted unauthorized control over party funds --
known in layman's terms as stealing, embezzling, and thievery
-- purposely avoiding oversight by the party treasurer which has
undermined the Party's goals and objectives
PR scandal and legal distraction renders the 2016 Election a lost cause
while Rohlfing rearranges the deck chairs on the GOP's ship sinking under his bad choices, self-inflicted damage and nosediving reputation.
The same can be said for the party's top fraudsters Saiki, Hellreich, and Marumoto who
deliberately and knowingly lied to party donors and ticket buyers in order to
swindle them under the
false impression that every penny of profit from the fundraiser would pay off the mortgage (
not other party expenses).
For the sake of our candidates, let's perform our due diligence as Republicans by speaking out. For the sake of the party, it's time for party officers who caused or allowed this corruption to occur -- Rohlfing, Hellreich and Liu -- to be replaced. With
our corrupt party leaders currently focused on stamping out whistleblowers to avoid any accountability for their documented wrongdoing, and our incumbent office holders afraid to address the issues, it is clear that
the 2016 Election will be a LOST CAUSE. The crooked Republican Party organization
lost the moral high ground to unseat crooked Democrats. It's as simple as that. Rohlfing and the rest must go.