Nov. 18—Kamehameha Schools Hawaii administrators met with police Thursday morning and reported that the former employee embezzled more than $360, 000 over a period of three years.
The Hawaii County Police Department reported Friday that it has opened an investigation into the internal theft of $360, 000 by a former employee of Kamehameha Schools Hawaii's campus in Keaau.
Kamehameha Schools Hawaii administrators met with police Thursday morning and reported that the former employee embezzled more than $360, 000 over a period of three years.
M. Kahealani Naeole-Wong, Kamehameha Schools Hawaii's poo kula (head of school ), revealed in a letter Thursday to the school community that the person is a former student.
"This individual's conduct is shameful, inexcusable, and a betrayal, " she wrote. "This was someone known to us, whom we educated and entrusted to serve alongside us."
But neither she nor the police provided any details as to the identity, age or gender of the suspect, or when the crime occurred.
Naeole-Wong said in a written statement Friday that she and other school administrators went to police Thursday to present their findings of their internal investigation that indicate a former employee stole from the Hawaii campus, but "do not have any further information to provide at this time."
"We will be supporting the police and their handling of the criminal investigation and extend our gratitude for their kokua with investigating this incident, " she wrote. "We will also seek appropriate legal action for retrieval of the funds taken."
Detectives are reviewing documents provided by the school, identifying witnesses who may need to be interviewed, and are drafting search warrants for various institutions.
Police have not yet arrested a suspect.
In her letter to the Kameha meha Schools Hawaii community, Naeole-Wong expressed "heavy emotions—from disappointment, anger, and sadness. But overriding these is a deep resolve."
She said that in addition to working with police, she is working with the schools' chief executive officer and executive team "to scrutinize our systems, practices, and policies so that we can shore them up and ensure that this will never occur again."
She also said the school is taking steps "to better prevent, deter, and detect these incidents, including having independent experts evaluate our policies, practices, training, and analytics."
Naeole-Wong said everyone at Kamehameha Schools is "committed to the highest standards of fiscal responsibility and ethical practices, to protect the trust of Ke Alii Pauahi, and to fulfill our mission to educate Native Hawaiians."
She concluded by saying that "the wrongful actions of one individual does not define our entire kauhale, which has always been built on principles of honesty and trust."
The Police Department asks that anyone with information concerning this investigation call Detective Paul Mangus at 808-961-2383 or email him at Paul.Mangus @hawaiicounty.gov.