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Kaiser High School principal retires as investigation continues

By Nanea Kalani

LAST UPDATED: 02:57 p.m. HST, Jan 15, 2014

Kaiser High School Principal John Sosa retired at the end of the year, three months after the state Department of Education placed him on leave as it conducted an internal investigation.

Sosa, who led the Hawaii Kai high school since 2008, was placed on paid leave in late September, but DOE officials said at the time that the department could not comment on any details of the investigation.

The following month, Kaiser employees said privately that two other employees in the school's office had been placed on leave and that files were seized -- details that the DOE also said it could not confirm at the time.

A DOE spokeswoman said today that the investigation is still ongoing and that the department is looking to fill the position permanently.

Justin Mew, principal of the neighboring Niu Valley Middle school, has been filling in as interim principal.

Sosa last year was named Principal of the Year by the Hawaii Association of Secondary School Administrators, and nominated for its national counterpart's Principal of the Year award for 2014.

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fairgame947 wrote:
Hmmmm, strange timing with the award and such.
on January 15,2014 | 02:28PM
false wrote:
What happened?????
on January 15,2014 | 02:37PM
barrowsohana wrote:
Alright DOE. Enough is enough!! 3 Months to investigate WHAT!!! SA go find out what the H___ is going on behind the DOE's closed doors.
on January 15,2014 | 02:48PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
No wonder lawyers get paid so much. It takes forever for investigations.
on January 15,2014 | 02:54PM
twitter6 wrote:
Great story, thanks for providing the issue under investigation. I think the media calls this a "teaser"? I think it is more incomplete if anything
on January 15,2014 | 03:04PM
barrowsohana wrote:
I do not think it it the Media that is being quiet. It is the DOE's closed doors!!!
on January 15,2014 | 03:26PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Sosa is placed on admin leave with pay while he is being investigated for some unspecified wrong doing related to his state job. He then is allowed to retire, apparently with a full pension and related benefits while the investigation is ongoing. So, what happens to his pension if the investigation finds he violated some law for which he could have been fired or prosecuted in a court of law? My guess is that he will keep it.
on January 15,2014 | 03:04PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
He earn his pension each dollar, he keeps it.
on January 15,2014 | 03:11PM
ponowai wrote:
That's why he retired, he's trying to protect his pension. If he got fired, he would loose it. After the investigation he should loose it regardless but, this is the DOE.
on January 15,2014 | 03:37PM
KahinuG wrote:
Better to be silent about stuff you don't know, you sound smarter that way. He doesn't need to retire to 'protect' his pension. While I agree anyone convicted of a crime while performing their duties as a public employee should lose their pension benefits, that is not the law for either DOE or any City of State Dept. However, even if it was law... the money contributed into the ERS is money that belongs to the employee. In other words, he can't 'loose' it.
on January 16,2014 | 01:25AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Refund what he paid into the ERS, but let's not reward him with a pension IF it is proven that he committed a crime while employed by the state.
on January 16,2014 | 09:47AM
HOSSANA wrote:
Geezus, I think the public have every right to know what's going on with the investigation...I mean, 3 mos. already just as much as absurb on the charter school being investigated when the DOE ascertained there were improprieties going on with fraud at the Myron Thompson Charter School and this was what 2 or 3 yrs. ago and only know the AG's office is starting to investigate and now at Kaiser....after 3 mos. and still no word...after all, this Principal is getting paid ...his full pension etc. with tax payer's monies and we are entitled to know the improprieties that have gone on at that school...I hear rumors to the effect but I don't want to comment on it here because its not facts but why the hell is it taking so long for the investigation esp. when it involves the clerks in the admin. office at Kaiser.....typical DOE!! and one wonders why things move so damm slow in the bureaucracy!!!
on January 15,2014 | 03:27PM
barrowsohana wrote:
AGREE!!! AGREE!!! AGREE. I do hope that if this situation concerns the safety of the students (any of them) that HEADS SHOULD ROLL at the DOE level!!! We have been kept in the "dark" far too long!!
on January 15,2014 | 03:43PM
sok808 wrote:
on January 15,2014 | 03:36PM
Slow wrote:
Cause it was so good the editor wanted to use it to teach the SA writers.
on January 16,2014 | 11:21AM
derek_millennium wrote:
His pension should be compromised especially if he was found doing illegal or wrongdoing. Hard to believe if there is no punishment
on January 15,2014 | 03:41PM
barrowsohana wrote:
There has been NO information about what he has done wrong!!! What did he do?? That is the biggest question...
on January 15,2014 | 03:48PM
gobows wrote:
maybe for recruiting for his football team
on January 15,2014 | 03:46PM
bumbye wrote:
I heard a true-mor through the grapevine. School funds were used, among other things, for lodging for the family of the Maui "recruit". Hmmmm . . .
on January 15,2014 | 04:56PM
PinkSushi wrote:
I think other OIA coaches are jealous of the top players that found a way to get into Kaiser so they could play for Richo Miano. And they have conspired to keep Kaiser players from being nominated for postseason all-star honors. Just as warning to future players wishing to transfer to. Kaiser: Go to Kaiser, and you will not be named to the postseason all-star team.
on January 15,2014 | 06:04PM
Slow wrote:
I heard school funds paid for a gender change operation for one of the cafeteria workers, stayed with him/her at the Four Seasons, bought 2 Ferraris and stole 5 boxes of #2 pencils. This is fun. What else has everyone "heard?"
on January 16,2014 | 11:20AM
Nesmith wrote:
Oh boy - principal and clerks depart from school. I have 2 guesses. It's happened before in a Waipahu school.
on January 15,2014 | 03:50PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
District Exemptions for the football team? Unless Waimanalo is Hawaii Kais district? Oh, Kaimuki ? Maybe Miano lucrative salary? Athletes autographs? Hahaha, lol, just joking.
on January 15,2014 | 04:38PM
beoahu wrote:
A Waipahu School CURRENTLY has a principal and clerk on leave for more than a year! And no one knows why.
on January 15,2014 | 04:45PM
barrowsohana wrote:
DOE where are you!! Your salary is paid by us ...the tax payer of this state. Open your doors and let us know what the h___ you are doing or NOT DOING!!!
on January 15,2014 | 06:12PM
duna6430 wrote:
Looking at this story, and the comments mentioning a similar situation in Waipahu. I wonder if these DOE investigations kept so quiet because of any union ties by these folks - or law suits. Bureaucracy at it's finest!
on January 15,2014 | 05:25PM
barrowsohana wrote:
on January 15,2014 | 06:42PM
Ummmm, what did this guy do? Really
on January 15,2014 | 07:10PM
Wazdat wrote:
Sounds fishy
on January 15,2014 | 08:36PM
Glassy_eye wrote:
If the DOE leadership is so threatened by a SUCCESSFUL principal that they have to remove him without cause, what hope is there? The Kaiser community should demand that the DOE explain whatever allegations of wrongdoing they have. Just removing the best people without cause or due process and forcing them to retire is more about power and ego than serving the public interest. Look at the disruption they have caused to Kaiser High and Niu Valley Middle schools with no explanation whatsoever!
on January 15,2014 | 08:53PM
bumbye wrote:
It's about misusing school funds to recruit football players and lodge their families in Oahu hotels.
on January 16,2014 | 01:34AM
PinkSushi wrote:
Total BS. IT's just people jealous of Rich Miano who want to bring him down. What does Kaiser have to offer anyone? What can Kaiser offer that Kailua can't offer? Or Konawaena.
on January 16,2014 | 02:42AM
bumbye wrote:
Wait and see.
on January 16,2014 | 03:18AM
Slow wrote:
I like to make stuff up just like you. It's fun.
on January 16,2014 | 11:18AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
What I'd like to know is how much his retirement pay will be. I'd bet we'd see why our state is so hard up for money.
on January 15,2014 | 09:18PM
Wage Earner wrote:
on January 15,2014 | 10:46PM
sloturle wrote:
i believe he did something very bad
on January 15,2014 | 10:22PM
Slow wrote:
Thank you. How badly do you want to hurt him for the bad things?
on January 16,2014 | 11:17AM
Imagen wrote:
Ridiculous! Our hard earned tax dollars support the inner and backroom workings of the DOE. Get rid of all of them and start fresh. Start with Matayoshi. Then, turn over more stones and you will see more vermin that you would imagine!
on January 16,2014 | 09:59AM
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