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IBEW Local 1260 leader retires amid investigation into finances

Kristen Consillio
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STAR-ADVERTISER / APRIL 2015

Brian Ahakuelo, business manager for IBEW Local 1260

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.”

85 responses to “IBEW Local 1260 leader retires amid investigation into finances”

  1. Junkflyer says:

    Say it isn’t so! Local union corruption, just like politics it happens over and over. Wonder how much they gave to the rail?

  2. PokeStop says:

    Over $500K to his family! Awesome!

    • Bdpapa says:

      I guess this is standard practice in the Unions!

      • ryan02 says:

        Seems to be. Remember Gary Rodriguez and how he, his girlfriend, and his daughter ripped off the United Public Workers? And then his lawyers Eric Seitz and State politician Della Belatti tried to get the United Public Workers to pay Rodriguez’s legal fees and almost a million dollars of his penalties? Where else can you find this type of antics, except Hawaii. And possibly Chicago.

    • kiragirl says:

      Get rid of all of them and start fresh with a lower starting pay. Union members would like that.

  3. localcitizen says:

    Such a talented family!!

  4. HakunaMatata says:

    Retired from IBEW, next stop, HART Board of Directors.

  5. EOD9 says:

    So how much exactly does each union member pay in dues? Using the 3200 member figure from the article, just to pay all the salaries of the folks mentioned comes out to $165 dollars per member per year. Spread out over 12 months that comes to $13.75 each month. A couple of plate lunches a month. Keep the amount small and no one will notice.

    • cholo says:

      $165 not even close. and no one would have complained over a $13.75 increase each month. the members pay what can be considered a car payment. the 1st increase was more than double what they were originally paying with more stepped increased each year.

  6. 50skane says:

    Crook! Keeping it all in he family..how much were they paying “Scruffy” their pit bull?

  7. justmyview371 says:

    Oh yeah, nepotism in Hawaii is a respected tradition. You reward your friends and family.

  8. fairgame947 says:

    That is absolutely disgusting. What a family deal. They should ALL resign. Why have the members put up with it?

    • hawaiikone says:

      One of the pitiful by products of unionism. While historically unions have served a vital purpose in labor, too often we’ve witnessed the unbridled corruption that occurs when unchecked power is granted.

  9. Surfer_Dude says:

    You can run, but you can’t hide brah. Feds will start sniffing around soon.

  10. HAJAA1 says:

    Finally all you overpriced electricians know where your membership dues go! Bumby you learn….no need unions.

  11. twitter6 says:

    Pretty incestuous office. Seems like an obvious conflict with hiring only family members

  12. ewida says:

    Director of community services? Chief of Staff? How many made up positions can you come up with at over 100K a year? No wonder the cost of construction is double in this state! This is what happens when you keep voting in the same Democrats year in and year out. We ALL pay because this drives up the cost of living. How many hundreds of thousands are spent on those ridiculous radio adds
    for electrical contractors? That just gets tacked onto the bill of these massive state jobs they get from their buddies in the Democratic party.

  13. fiveo says:

    This guy is going to end up like Gary Rodrigues who was doing the same thing and hiring his family for union jobs. The FBI should start looking into this union and this crook.
    Probably chose to retire so he can secure his golden parachute and benefits otherwise if he ends up getting fired, he could lose everything. Hopefully he goes the way of
    Gary Rodrigues.

  14. Papaya123 says:

    Hotel and dockworkers employees no worry. Your guys would never do this kine stuffs…Right?

  15. Kawelolani07 says:

    “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.

    This is a straight up lie…and the union members have had to put up with it? What could they do? The picture speaks a thousand words.

    • 808living says:

      That picture shows where all those union dues went. You can grow that Jabba the Hutt chin over many years after eating prime steaks, lobster tails, poke and rinsing off your palate with a 12 pack of them green bottles. Cheeehooo!!

    • SPCSC says:

      “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.

      Then next thing you know?……He Retire? Auwe……nothing wrong? The whole family is wrong! Send him and the ohana jail like Rodrigues.

  16. Bully says:

    I can see a problem here with the misuse of Union Funds. You paid your family members over $400,000 with jobs that you created and funded whether it was needed or not. It looks like stealing from the Union to me.

  17. HanabataDays says:

    What a stinking crock of nepotism. The whole front office, pilau to da max.

  18. lespark says:

    This guy is a crock of #2

  19. atilter says:

    all da bases are covered … remember da old saying, “if you no can say anything good, no say nothing”, right? oh, no , is dat right?? anyway, someting like dat…….!

  20. lokela says:

    Wow the family was paid a hefty salary. Bet none of them driving a Ford.

    • 808living says:

      Maybe? brand new 2016 F150 Supercab Platinum Edition.. paid cash 60K… other car is the garage is the Mercedes.

      • cholo says:

        union vehicle so it’s paid by the members, including insurance and maintenance. good deal, right?

        • 808living says:

          Excuse my ignorance.. yes.. company vehicle paid directly by union fees, meals and extras paid by union charge card for business related(?) expenses.. Salary exclusively to my pocket for my hard earned work.

  21. Masami says:

    “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.”

    Wow! Figuring your son and daughter-in-law don’t live with you, just you and your wife made over $300K last year. If that’s “middle-class” lifestyle………..the majority of us are poverty.

  22. islandsun says:

    its not a federal investigation so business as usual at this point

  23. 808comp says:

    Wow, all in the family eh?

  24. JustBobF says:

    So, this little family was raking in a half mil for what I would guess was very little work.

    Fired, I would say, not retired; what’s wrong with your headline?!

    Are the rest of the clan resigning or being fired, too?

  25. papio5 says:

    I didn’t know that IBEW was a cozy family business sort of like a certain charter school.

  26. aiea7 says:

    if he did nothing wrong, then why retire? his actions belies his words, actions are stronger than words.

  27. Ronin006 says:

    All in the Family. Dues paying union member are nuts to allow this to have happened.

    • cholo says:

      except they didn’t. the international office refused to listen to the complaints until they basically had no choice. but better late than never.

  28. Donna2415 says:

    Unions in Hawaii is the tail that wags the dog.

  29. mikaele1 says:

    What i am thinking it would be a good time for union members to take a look at what is going on in this
    area. Most likely there are other organizations with similar problems mo better to make an early correction. This problem was pretty bold and out in the open. Members no let this happen speak up.

    • cholo says:

      they did. they were brushed aside time and time again. it took the feds to start showing interest in the matter to wake up the international office and finally make them do something about it.

  30. taradean says:

    MR. Ahakuelo, since “improprieties” as well as “improper activities” are both plural (more than one in number) the proper written english grammar would be “there are no improprieties” and “there are no illegal or improper activities.” K-thanks! Happy Retirement!

  31. Katsuren says:

    Why you running, Brian? You done nothing wrong. Stay and defend your actions like a real man! Lets all hear the two sides of the story. Unreal… no mo shame.

  32. wiliki says:

    Disgraceful. Should have been stopped a long time ago.

    • hon2255 says:

      I smell a corrupt union head hiring his crony family members who know nothing about running Union finances other than embezzling the hard working union members. What a slap in the face. Put him to the guillotine ! Guillotine !! Stone them all ! 50 lashes with a wet noodle !! And the stench of these Union heads keeps permeating on and on and on …..

  33. richjsn says:

    As Gomer Pyle would of said, surprise, surprise, surprise.

  34. HAJAA1 says:

    When your union dues go to pay corrupt leaders and their family, give that union a shaka!!

    • 808living says:

      Damn.. after reading all these comments… can I retire at 55 with full pension and lifetime benefits cuz braddah can talk and made u think that I am protecting you and your family’s future? He all gave U the final salute and I don’t have to describe what gesture he invoked.

  35. Wazdat says:

    The amount of CORRUPTION, NEPOTISM and outright B$ is insane. This state has ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY and the fact this is a ONE PARTY state is ABSURD. Lucky you live Hawaii !

  36. Ronin006 says:

    The salaries paid to the blood-related officials of the family-run criminal enterprise, aka International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260, are outrageous. I also believe there is much more to know about how Brian Ahakuelo and his family lived lives of luxury at the expense of dues-paying union members, which will be revealed by a detailed audit of their expense reports conducted by an independent auditor and not by someone being paid by the union’s International Office. I think we will find they always traveled first class, stayed at luxury hotels, ate at the finest restaurants and charged many things to the union that were really for personal use.

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