HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Bishop Museum supporters are calling on the state attorney general to open a board investigation after three top leaders took paid leave six months ago.
The Bishop Museum Board of Directors gave CEO Melanie Ide and two other leaders indefinite paid leave following an internal investigation last July. Employee complaints about alleged hostile work environments were brought up to management and then to the board of directors, according to sources.
Critics filed a complaint with the state attorney general last month and a subsequent online petition, accusing the board of breaching fiduciary duty, wasting the museum’s philanthropic assets and demanding the CEO’s reinstatement. says.
“No. Can you go in a canoe with no one behind you so the captain will tell you where to go? The answer is no,” said artist and educator Meleanna Aluli Meyer.
Critics worry about millions of dollars in government funding, future projects with Kamehameha Schools, trust with Waipio taro farmers, and future funding.
Meyer signed the petition.
“I’m really worried. This issue has to be resolved, and I know it will be resolved, but it shouldn’t have lasted seven months,” Meyer said.
“It’s irresponsible,” she added.
CEO Melanie Ide was ordered to remain silent during an interview with Hawaii News Now in July 2021.
“There have been anonymous reports of things happening at work that, from what I know, have been addressed and have gone through policies and procedures,” she said.
The Bishop Museum Executive Committee said in a statement, “This complaint is based on inaccurate statements reported in the media and attributed to the museum’s CEO, Melanie Ide, most notably: The board goes beyond its governance role.”
It described the Deputy Trustees as “extremely competent.”
“The process has taken longer than expected due to more material issues that the board first made management aware of,” the statement added.
The board of directors will hold a meeting later this month regarding an internal investigation.
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