Bob Awana

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Bob Awana, as Governor Lingle's Chief of Staff, assisted her in supervising state departments and in developing and implementing major state initiatives. He ensured that the roles and duties of all department heads and other government officials were carried out in accordance with state statutes and in support of the Governor. [1]

According to a Honolulu Advertiser article dated June 29, 2007 and entitled, Lingle's chief of staff, Bob Awana, resigns, the following was reported:

Bob Awana, Gov. Linda Lingle's chief of staff, abruptly resigned yesterday amid a swirl of controversies surrounding his alleged role in a Saipan public corruption investigation and an alleged extortion attempt against him.
In a news release today, Lingle said she and Awana met yesterday and "mutually concluded it was in the best interest of all that he resign his position effective immediately." [2]

The Advertiser article also reported the following:

The Advertiser reported on June 16 that Awana was questioned by federal agents last year in connection with a lucrative contract to operate a landfill in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Awana has denied wrongdoing but investigators with the inspector general's office of the U.S. Justice Department have asked him if Saipan Waste Management, in which Awana owns a 1/16th stake, bribed Saipan officials to get the landfill contract.
Awana also was the alleged victim of an extortion attempt by an Indian national, 44-year-old Rajdatta Patkar, who is now in federal custody. A March 2006 federal grand jury indictment alleged that Rajdatta Patkar, a 44-year-old native of Mumbai, India now living in Tokyo, attempted to extort $35,000 from Awana in 2005.
Patkar has pleaded not guilty to the charges. [3]

In a July 6 Advertiser article, details of the extortion were reported:

A March 2006 federal grand jury indictment alleged Patkar, a 44-year-old Indian national now living in Tokyo, attempted to extort $35,000 from Awana in 2005.
The indictment did not provide details of the alleged extortion attempt, but people familiar with the investigation said Patkar allegedly threatened to expose an extra-marital affair Awana had with a woman in the Philippines.
Patkar learned of the affair after finding e-mails Awana allegedly sent to the woman, the people said. The sources declined to be named, citing an ongoing criminal investigation. [4]

Before assuming his Chief of Staff position, Awana served as Governor Lingle’s campaign manager during the 1998 and 2002 gubernatorial elections. He also served as chief of staff of former Honolulu Mayor Eileen Anderson in the early 1980s. [5]

Prior to joining the public sector, Awana was the government affairs director for Waste Management, Inc. He was also a partner with the national accounting and consulting firm of Pannell Kerr Forster, and held leadership positions with the Village Resorts hotel chain, Bank of Honolulu and Sea Life Park. Awana is a graduate of St. Louis School. [6]

External links

  • Borreca, Richard. Indian man charged in attempted extortion of Awana Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 13, 2007.
  • Rick Daysog and Peter Boylan. Lingle's chief of staff, Bob Awana, resigns Honolulu Advertiser, June 29, 2007.
  • Borreca, Richard. Awana’s busy political career skids to a halt -- GOP leaders say Gov. Lingle's chief of staff had become a liability due to scandals Honolulu Star-Bulletin, June 30, 2007.
  • DePledge, Derrick. Governor loses loyal ally, valuable insider in Awana Honolulu Advertiser, June 30, 2007.
  • Park, Gene. Lingle taps assistant as chief-of-staff fill-in -- Joy Watari will replace Robert Awana until the governor finds a new permanent hire Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 1, 2007.
  • Borreca, Richard. Until the end, Awana knew the score Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 1, 2007.
  • Borreca, Richard. Governor stays silent on Awana's departure -- Lingle cites ongoing cases involving her former chief of staff Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 3, 2007.
  • Daysog, Rick. Plea deal worked out in Awana extortion case Honolulu Advertiser, July 6, 2007.
  • White, Doug. Philippines trip mysteries stay under wraps — for now Poinography!, July 11, 2007.
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