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Hawaii News

Judge approves the dissolution of Maui nonprofit


WAILUKU » A decades-old nonprofit formed to encourage the revitalization of Maui’s small towns is dissolving.

State Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza on Wednesday granted a motion by Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones to judicially dissolve the Wailuku Main Street Association Inc./Tri-Isle Main Street Resource Center, The Maui News reported.

The 28-year-old nonprofit was no longer solvent and wasn’t receiving any county grant funding, Jones told Cardoza. The agency has no office, no executive director and no board members, he said.

Jones, in a report produced last year, alleged the organization engaged in nepotism and lobbying in violation of its grant contract. The organization provided little evidence of its program services, the report said.

Maui County in October said it was terminat- ing the $243,000 grant that was the agency’s main source of funding.

The state tried to help but the association backed out each time, Jones told the court.

"We didn’t want to be here today," Jones said. "We were forced in this position."

The nonprofit’s former chairman, Thomas Cannon, asked Cardoza for a second chance.

"I ask that your honor consider allowing WMSA to reconstitute its board and continue its 28-year mission … the fruits of which have been such tremendous value to Maui and its residents," said Cannon, who resigned as chairman this summer.

But Cardoza authorized the appointment of a receiver to distribute the association’s remaining assets.

Cannon has been a staunch defender of the nonprofit, saying the organization did nothing wrong, that its finances were reviewed annually and received clean audits.

Maui County Communications Director Rod Antone said in an email the association didn’t follow the terms of its agreement. He said the organization refused to account for the county funds it received.

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