Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele held a copy of a $22,500 grant check from Bank of America during a news conference yesterday at the federal building. Kanahele said there is "strong evidence" that the payment was intended to induce two groups to drop their pursuit of $150 million in promised loans.
The Hawaiian activist says a recent grant is really a loan substitute
Hawaiian rights activist Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele is asking the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate Bank of America for alleged intimidation.
At a news conference at the federal building yesterday, Kanahele said Bank of America is trying to renege on its commitment to invest up to $150 million in the Hawaiian community.
Kanahele said the bank, which sold its local operations to American Savings Bank in 1997, gave an unsolicited $22,500 in February to two community groups he is representing, Aloha First and Na Kapuna o Maui.
The money was intended as a grant for promoting literacy, but Kanahele said there "is strong evidence" that it is intended to induce Aloha First and Na Kapuna to drop their pursuit of $150 million that the bank agreed to loan to native Hawaiians.
"We have reason to believe that Bank of America has attempted and is attempting to induce Aloha First and Na Kupuna, as traditional representatives of the Hawaiian people, to forgo Hawaiian property rights to the ... outstanding balance of Bank of America's $150 million commitment," Kanahele said.
Bank of America officials could not be reached for immediate comment. The U.S. Attorney's Office also could not be reached.
Kanahele said Bank of America agreed to lend up to $150 million to the Hawaiian community back in the early 1990s after Na Kapuna and his organization the Nation of Hawaii complained that the bank's lending policies discriminated against Hawaiians.
I have my mortgages through Bank of America. I hope Bumpy fights them since they signed a contract. It pisses me off. I despise it when Big Business thinks they can get away with it. I dont care what color the person is. I hope he fights Big Business Man.