Thursday, November 10, 2011

Really? She's Treasurer of the Honolulu County GOP Committee? Has Anybody Checked the Bank Accounts Lately?

The Website for the Honolulu County GOP Committee lists the group’s Treasurer as Elizabeth Hata Watanabe.  Really?  Do they know Liz’s track record?

Liz, as she’s known in party/club circles, was the owner operator of a failed nightclub, the O Lounge.  Yes that enterprise failed as a business.

While Watanabe did a tremendous job promoting herself and her club among reporters, it would appear that the nightclub was not a financial success.  She shuttered the doors to the night club in the wake of escalating scrutiny by the Honolulu Liquor Commission – for additional insights, review the HLC agendas/minutes in 2008 & 2009 . 

Besides being cited and fined multiple times for serving alcohol to minors, Watanabe apparently hid her books from HLC investigators for four years – pretty suspicious don’t you think?  Especially considering her husband was a 20+ year veteran of the Honolulu PD. 

The adjudications against The O Lounge for three violations of 281-78(b)(1)(A), HRS (selling, serving or furnishing liquor to minors), for violation of Rule 3-84-78.52 (stacking) and for violation of Rule 3-81-17.54(d) (failing to make readily available for inspection its books and records for the last four years).  HLC – 7/24/08

The O Lounge pled no contest and was fined a total of $4,000 for two repeat violations of Section 281-78(b)(1)(A), HRS (selling, serving or furnishing liquor to a minor). The Commission also placed the licensee on probation for six months effective Sept. 11, 2008.  HLC - 9/11/08

[While on Probation] Allegations against The O Lounge were proved, and the licensee was fined $2,000 for a repeat violation of Section 281-78(b)(1)(A), HRS (selling, serving or furnishing liquor to a minor). HLC - 1/29/09

[While on Probation] Allegations against The O Lounge were proved, and the licensee was fined $2,000 for a repeat violation of Section 281-78(b)(1)(A), HRS (selling, serving or furnishing liquor to a minor). HLC – 2/5/09

Reviewed the six-month probationary period for The O Lounge and decided to continue the probation, suspension, age restriction (21 and over) and required that special events be approved by HLC enforcement before the event.  HLC – 3/19/09

As things were about to blow up, she closed down the bar and told her reporter friends that she was going to focus on her roles as a mother and wife, do something more family oriented, maybe a children’s TV program – and instead got herself involved in a short lived realty TV show, Hawaii’s Big Deal Poker Tournament.  That show lasted for several months and she lead people to believe there would be a second season of the show.

 Nothing ever materialized and it’s suggested the show didn’t pencil out.  Or perhaps investors said, “No” or “no more,” to a scam that had no ROI.

Then on June 14, 2011, Elizabeth Hata-Watanabe filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (Case: 11-01679).

The woman repeatedly allowed alcohol to be served to minors, hid her nightclub’s ledgers from regulators for four years and filed a personal bankruptcy; yet, the good people at the Honolulu GOP Committee think she’s the best person to be their Treasurer?  Somebody better check that organization’s books – if they can find them.  Better yet, somebody better go check the GOP Committee’s bank accounts.

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1 comment:

Verifiable said...

We've heard from Liz Hata-Watanabe who, as one might expect, admonished our reports and, of course, denied any responsibility for her circumstances.

The self-promoter extraordinaire is also, it would seem, a professional victim. Among other things:

She (1) suggested that Counsel had advised the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy strategy; as if a lawyer's "blessing" absolves her or makes it right.

And (2) she scolded TVT for outing her husband. Really Liz, because you did that in 2008 when you pimped your family out for a MidWeek cover story! And every time you put your kids (family) on parade for self-aggrandizement. And further, it's not insignificant that you were alleged to have broken laws in Honolulu, given his profession.

Liz, like Lindsay Lohan, you crave the spotlight; it doesn't seek you out. Own your circumstances Lady! The truth will free you.

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