In politics, like soap operas, no one is truly gone until he or she is dead (and even then, there are exceptions). Case in point is one Bob Awana, the former chief of staff for Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle who resigned in 2007 amid myriad stories about an alleged international extortion racket he found himself in.
That summer, a number of publications around Hawaii–including MauiTime–chased the story, which involved blackmail, overseas trips by state officials and, naturally, women. Our reporter Greg Mebel doggedly chased the story, and even got a shout-out from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial page for his reporting.
And then everything went quiet. Awana resigned, Lingle refused to talk about the matter and a judge sealed a court case concerning the matter. Soon after the state, and Awana, just moved on.
Well, now Awana is back. “Reports for the last six months of 2013 filed recently with the Campaign Spending Commission show Awana was hired as a consultant by Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin’s campaign,” Ian lind blogged on Feb. 17. “Martin’s campaign paid Resource Partners Hawaii, LLC, controlled by Awana, a “consulting fee” of $20,750 on October 6, 2013, commission records show.”
Lind also reported that Awana ran two fundraising events for Martin in 2013, including one at Morton’s Steakhouse that carried “a suggested contribution per person of $4,000.”
In any case, Awana’s (and Lingle’s) silence surrounding the weird 2007 scandal that led to his departure still rankles Lind. “The reappearance in politics of Bob Awana, former chief of staff in Governor Linda Lingle’s administration, noted here yesterday, is a reminder of the laundry list of issues that were left unresolved by his 2007 resignation,” Lind blogged on Feb. 18.
Illustration of Bob Awana: Sarit Giovanni Cardone