WMSA meets its document deadline

The embattled Wailuku Main Street Association met Thursday’s court-ordered deadline to produce additional financial and organizational documents to the state attorney general, according to board Chairman Tom Cannon.

Last month, Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza granted the state’s request calling for Wailuku Main Street Association, which is under investigation for possible violations of Hawaii’s nonprofit laws, to comply with its subpoena and produce documents by close of business Thursday.

Asked whether the nonprofit had turned over the documents in compliance with the subpoena, Cannon simply replied, “yes,” in an email Thursday.

Supervising state Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones of the Tax & Charities Division said Cannon informed him via email Thursday that the documents had been mailed out that day.

Once in-hand, Jones said it would take some time to go through the materials and determine whether WMSA has produced all of the information requested in the subpoena.

Cardoza ordered that the information produced from the subpoena not be disclosed to the public, as requested by Cannon. The judge also ordered Cannon make an appearance Feb. 21 for sworn testimony.

Jones had subpoenaed documents as part of the state’s investigation, but the organization had initially refused to comply with all of the requests.

Court filings show the subpoena seeks:

* Copies of the association’s monthly bank statements for the period of Jan. 1, 2012, to the present.

* The association’s check ledger for the period of Jan. 1, 2012, to the present.

* Minutes of board of directors and board committee meetings for the period of Jan. 1, 2012, to the present.

* All correspondence or electronic mail communications between WMSA and the accountants or certified public accounting firm auditing WMSA’s financial statements during the period of Jan. 1, 2012, to the present.

* Copies of emails from Jan. 1, 2012, to the present by and between any officers or directors of WMSA, including the executive director.

In August, Jones released a report detailing the state’s monthslong probe into WMSA’s operations, citing such findings as nepotism, lobbying in violation of its grant contract, conflicts of interest, inaccuracies with its IRS Form 990, little evidence of program services and a “terribly confused” structure of governance, among other issues.

The organization has received more than $2.2 million in grants from Maui County since 2002.

In a separate matter, county officials in October terminated the remainder of a $243,000 grant to the organization, following repeated warning letters seeking compliance with an ongoing probe at the county level.

The county and its attorneys had sent several letters requesting clarifications and additional documentation of the organization’s spending.