Lihue Airport DOT Scandal

SUBHEAD: Kauai Airport supervisor fired with extra pay after admitting to embezzlement. Additional developments.
Image above: Lihue Airport, on Kauai, as seen from a helicopter. From (
[Editor's note: The Senate Hearing also covered the recent resignation of Hawaii DOT State Airports Director. See full video of the recent Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing on these developing events at: (] By Keoki Kerron 31 August 2010 for KITV4 -
( A supervisor at Lihue Airport who admitted to stealing thousands of dollars in an embezzlement case has been fired after state transportation officials put her on leave with pay for nearly two months while they investigated the case. The state transportation director admitted Tuesday what employees have complained about for years: that there's a management problem at Lihue Airport. Sources told KITV 4 News a business services supervisor at Lihue Airport, who oversees four other people, admitted to stealing about $13,000 from the state over several months. Some of it was money that airline employees, vendors and others pay for annual airport security badges. The state placed her on leave with pay after she admitted to airport officials in writing to the theft in early July, according to Sidney Hayakawa, an administrative services officer with the state department of transportation. The woman, who has not yet been charged with a crime, kept collecting her paycheck for nearly two months until she was fired Thursday, he said. State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D-Moanalua, Aiea, Kalihi Valley), who chairs the State Senate ways and means committee, calls that "unbelievable." ...In another incident, an airport operations controller frustrated with management at Lihue walked off the job in late 2008 and no one bothered to notify personnel officials to stop his paycheck for weeks, so he was overpaid about $5,000. Earlier this year, he was allowed to return to work at the airport, keeping the extra $5,000 in overpaid salary and 880 hours of accrued sick leave. If they could rewind the situation “we would have looked at recouping the money for his salary overpayment,” Morioka said. "We do know that there can be improvements to the way that we manage the airport in both the facility itself and the employees," said Morioka. State DOT officials admitted there have been management problems at Lihue Airport for more than two years... In another incident, airport manager George Crabbe lost track of two people he was escorting behind security checkpoints on Sept. 11, 2009, resulting in the Lihue airport terminal being evacuated and shut down and passengers re-screened...

No comments :

Post a Comment