Brian Ahakuelo, the embattled leader of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260, said today he has retired from his position.
Ahakuelo, 55, was the business manager and financial secretary for Local 1260, representing more than 3,200 electrical workers. He was placed on administrative leave Friday, pending an investigation into the union’s finances.
“What’s going on right now is not a negative thing. It’s actually a positive thing because there’s no improprieties. There’s no illegal or improper activities. There was no criminal intent of any sort,” Ahakuelo said. “There’s nothing that I have done wrong or as far as I know my staff has done wrong in local union office. All we’ve done is raise the standard for our membership to have the abilities today to live a middle-class lifestyle in the state of Hawaii.”
Ahakuelo earned $201,712 in 2015, while his wife Marilyn, director of community services, was paid $105,119, according to the union’s most recent annual financial report filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. Ahakuelo’s son, Brandon, the union’s chief of staff, was paid $143,274. Executive assistant Neiani Ahakuelo, Brian’s daughter-in-law, received $77,656, the filing shows.
The International Office of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers said it placed Local 1260 in trusteeship “in order to investigate and correct financial issues that have arisen in the local.”
“This is an ongoing investigation by the International Office and we are unable to comment on the process until it is fully completed,” said Mark Brueggenjohann, director of media of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington, D.C. “Our priority is always to protect our members’ rights and to guarantee that their dues are used in an appropriate and transparent manner. We will continue our trusteeship until there is full clarity on all financial issues and corrective measures have been implemented.”