Hawaii Island public access television CEO on leave; fraud investigation deepens

Na Leo TV Headquarters on Hawaii Island
Na Leo TV Headquarters on Hawaii Island(HNN)
Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 1:43 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The bribery case against a Honolulu city official has implicated two public access television stations, along with a well-known political and non-profit leader on Hawaii Island.

Na Leo TV CEO Stacy Higa has been placed on leave after his former advisor, 42-year-old Hanalei Aipoalani, admitted to helping him fraudulently apply for $800,000 in aid.

Aipoalani was a city CARES Act official in Honolulu responsible for administering the federal funds. He says Higa promised him a job in return.

Na Leo TV announced Monday that Higa’s leave of absence would be effective April 1, and that day-to-day operations would continue.

Back in October, FBI agents raided the offices of Na Leo public access TV in Hilo to investigate CARES Act fraud.

[Read more: FBI raids Hilo offices of Na Leo TV amidst ongoing investigation]

Back on Oahu, Aipoalani also admitted stealing more than half a million in federal Americorps grants as an executive of Olelo community television.

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