HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The State Ethics Commission fined the former head of the Ka Waihona o Ka Naauao charter public school $ 4,000 for improper cash payments, including his wife.
The commission said former principal Alvin Parker, who was removed from his post in 2018, did not seek board approval on the payments because he believed he had the power to accept them .
The commission said Parker admitted to approving tens of thousands of dollars in employee cash advances, including:
- $ 13,000 to his wife;
- $ 25,000 to a colleague;
- $ 5,000 to another employee.
“Charter schools are supposed to have flexibility in how they do their jobs,” said Dan Gluck, executive director of the state’s Ethics Commission.
“But at the end of the day, they’re still a state agency, so they’re still using public funds and are supposed to act in the best interests of the students and the community.”
Gluck said two of the employees repaid the entire advance while Parker’s wife Renette still owed $ 8,000.
“The former manager’s claim was that he was owed extra money as a backlog of wages,” Gluck said.
Lawyer Victor Bakke said the allegations against Parker were serious.
“I think this case is criminal and should be prosecuted for theft. … There is no advance of public funds, ”he said.
The progress was made as the school faced enormous financial pressures. The school said it has since put in place internal controls to prevent future abuse.
Parker and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
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