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Former employee sues Kamehameha Schools over termination

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Kawaiahao Plaza, site of the office of Kamehameha Schools Hawaii.

HILO » A former Kamehameha Schools Hawaii employee, who was fired last year in connection to alleged misuse of a purchasing card, has filed a lawsuit against the private school, claiming she was wrongfully terminated.

The lawsuit, filed July 29, on behalf of Kim Hayashida, seeks unspecified damages, including back pay and reinstatement, reported The Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Hayashida’s attorney Ted Hong said his client wants her reputation back.

"What my client wants, more than anything, is to restore her reputation in the community," Hong said earlier this month. "For her to get terminated on the pretext that she used KS funds, especially when she’s in the fiscal management profession, is really a blow to who she is."

Hayashida was administrative coordinator for the private trust’s Big Island high school for nearly 10 years before her dismissal. She supervised budgets for the school and the athletic department.

The suit claims Hayashida’s termination came as a result of rooms booked for the International Society for Technology in Education conference in June 2014 in Atlanta. She said she had permission to use her pCard to help reserve rooms for the conference, but later she was reprimanded.

"This whole pCard thing is unfortunate," Hong said. "She does think that she was a scapegoat for what she feels is the incompetence of co-workers or people . who were working in a different capacity (or) who weren’t at the same level she was within the organization."

An anonymous complaint was filed against Hayashida accusing her of misusing school funds at the conference. She was fired following an internal investigation.

Kamehameha Schools spokesman Kekoa Paulsen declined to comment on the lawsuit.

"Since this matter appears headed for litigation, we will reserve our response to the lawsuit for the courtroom," he said.

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