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Former principal charged with tampering with record

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:15 p.m. HST, Sep 06, 2013

A former principal at Waipahu's August Ahrens Elementary School accused of financial impropriety has been served a two-count penal summons complaint, Hawaii's Attorney General David M. Louie announced today. 

The complaint, filed by state on July 22, charges Florentina Smith, 69, of Waipahu with tampering with a government record.

The state alleges the crime was committed on Nov. 12, 2011, and the following week on Nov. 19, while Smith was serving as principal of the school. Tampering with a government record occurs when a person knowingly and falsely makes, completes or alters, or knowingly makes a false entry into, a written government record. It is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.

Smith's arraignment and plea is set for 8:30 a.m. Monday in Ewa District Court.

Sources have told the Star-Advertiser that Smith was investigated for allegedly directing a teacher to file a per diem reimbursement claim for training that did not occur.

August Ahrens, with 1,300 students, is one of the state's largest elementary schools, and serves a high-needs population. In the 2010-11 school year, 57 percent of students were on free or reduced-cost lunch, an indicator of poverty, and 24 percent had limited English proficiency, according to a Department of Education report.

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allie wrote:
more DOE scandal
on September 6,2013 | 12:38PM
cojef wrote:
Is she one of the principals that take home over $150,000 in compensation? Tampering with the records over some expense vouchers??? Strange situation. Sticking neck and a good paying job over a little expense money, no kan understand??? Guess want both feet in the food trough.
on September 6,2013 | 04:05PM
Slow wrote:
Yikes, scary people in Waipahu. I met one once. He took me to a pool hall. Scary! Meanwhile we have a huge scandal. Several fre elunches. Yikes indeed. Just like the fall of the Roman Empire.
on September 6,2013 | 05:36PM
serfboy wrote:
Is this article trying to lead us to believe that the principal did it to add to her school's budget? I wonder why the reporter felt a need to include the last paragraph?
on September 6,2013 | 06:37PM
soundofreason wrote:
And what about the teacher who DID it.
on September 6,2013 | 07:40PM
Brixac3 wrote:
Knowing how the state operates, I would guess this principal didn't want to play ball in doing something wrong. If people don't play by there rules they are thrown under the bus. The DOE budget is the perfect front for misappropriated funds. If people question inappropriate spending, they're accused of being against education and wanting to harm our keiki. Check out the attached procurement audit done in 2009. http://hawaii.gov/auditor/Reports/2009/09-04.pdf They have been hiding their pay offs to contractors in the DOE budget for years. Btw, the auditor, Grant Thornton is no longer in business in Hawaii. What a coincidence! This is done in every state. Politician publicly boast about their commitment to education and how they are increasing the education budget, but very few people check what the politician spends the funds on nor do they follow up and check to see what kind of results are being achieved with those funds. How is it that Hawaii's DOE spends more on education per student than Punahou or Iolani. New York and Chicago spend even more!
on September 6,2013 | 09:48PM
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