Ethics panel fines ex-principal of Hawaii charter school $4K

June 23, 2021 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — The state Ethics Commission has fined the former principal of a Hawaiian-focused charter school $4,000 for improperly giving employees cash advances on their salaries.

When Alvin Parker was principal of Ka Waihona o Ka Naauao Public Charter School in Waianae, he approved tens of thousands of dollars in cash advances, including $13,000 to his wife, Hawaii News Now reported.

Parker, who was removed in 2018, didn’t seek approval from the governing board before giving out the loans of school funds, the commission said, but he believed he had authority to provide cash advances to staff.

Efforts by The Associated Press Wednesday to reach Parker weren’t immediately successful.

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

Two of the employees paid back the advances while Parker’s wife still owes $8,000, Gluck said.