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Woman gets year in jail for Lanikai School theft

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:08 p.m. HST, Jun 25, 2014

A judge sentenced a 43-year-old Kailua woman to one year in jail Wednesday for stealing $50,000 from the parent teacher association of an elementary school in Lanikai.

Acting Circuit Judge Shirley Miki Kawamura also ordered Tonya Taylor to repay $50,574.41 to Lanikai School Ohana, the new parent teacher organization for Lanikai School, and to write a letter of apology.

Taylor was president of the parent teacher association when she stole the nonprofit's money from 2007 to 2011. She was charged with first-degree theft and money laundering, and pleaded no contest in December.

Marnie Ackerman, the outgoing president of the Lanikai School Ohana, said Taylor stole a $25,000 grant from Lowe's that would have built a shade structure for children eating lunch. The grant was part of the total theft.

Some children still eat in the sun with bird droppings on the table because the structure was never built, Ackerman said after the sentencing.

Kawamura denied Taylor, an alumnus whose four children also attended the charter school, a deferral that would have wiped Taylor's record of the convictions if she stays out of trouble for five years.

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