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Ethics Commission fines former principal for improper cash advances, including to his wife

State Ethics Commission has fined former Nanakuli Charter School principal for improper cash...
State Ethics Commission has fined former Nanakuli Charter School principal for improper cash payments to workers, including his wife.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:15 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:19 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Ethics Commission has fined the former principal of the Ka Waihona o Ka Naauao Public Charter School $4,000 for improper cash payments, including to his wife.

The commission said former Principal Alvin Parker, who was removed in 2018, did not seek board approval on the payments because he believed he had the authority to OK them.

The commission said that Parker admitted that he approved tens of thousands of dollars in cash advances to employees, including:

  • $13,000 to his wife;
  • $25,000 to a co-worker;
  • $5,000 to another employee.

“The charter schools are supposed to have flexibility in how they do their work,” said Dan Gluck, executive director of the state Ethics Commission.

“But at the end of the day, they are still a state agency so they are still using public funds and they are supposed to be acting in the best interests of the students and the community.”

Gluck said two of the employees paid back the advance in full while Parker’s wife, Renette, still owes $8,000.

“The former principal’s contention was that he was owed additional money as back pay,” Gluck said.

Attorney Victor Bakke said the allegations against Parker are serious.

“I think this case is criminal and should be prosecuted as theft. ... There’s no such thing as a cash advance of public funds,” he said.

The advances were made when the school was facing tremendous financial pressures. The school said it has since implemented internal controls to prevent future abuses.

Parker and his attorney could not be reached for comment.

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