Double dipping at charter school?

Double dipping at charter school?

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The state Ethics Commission says a Hilo school administrator violated Hawaii's conflict of interest laws 20 times over the past several years.

The commission accuses Eric Boyd of taking advantage of his position as a key administrator at the Connections New Century Public Charter School to sell hundreds of school lunches and thousands of dollars in cleaning supplies and electronic equipment to the school.

Boyd will appear before a commission hearing on Tuesday in Hilo for what's turned into the agency's first contested case proceeding since the mid-1980s.

"He's charged with ... 20 violations of the state ethics code," said Les Kondo, the Ethics Commission's executive director.

"His company provided school lunches to Connections. His company also provided materials and supplies to Connections."

The commission filings alleged that the food service contract was issued on a non-bid basis and is worth more than $100,000 a year.

The charter school also purchased thousands of dollars in camcorders, disinfectants and other cleaning supplies and office equipment through Boyd's wife's Amway business, the commission said.

Boyd's attorney Ted Hong says the food contract was awarded through a fair bid process and was approved by the school's CEO and board. Hong also claims his client made no money on the Amway sales.

"But in terms of him making money hand over fists on the backs of the people at the charter school, that's patently false," Hong said

Hong says Boyd isn't bound by the state's ethics rules since he works for a charter school and is not a state employee.

The commission, however, disagrees, saying the state pays his salary and that his health insurance is covered by the state.

If Boyd is found to have broken state ethics rules during next week's hearings he could face fines of up to $10,000.

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