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Aliamanu assistant posts bail in lunch money theft case


    Ada Martin was indicted Thursday by a grand jury and charged with first-degree theft for allegedly taking $37,156.31 between July 2012 and April 2014 from Aliamanu Elementary School, where she worked as an office assistant.

A Honolulu woman accused of stealing more than $37,000 in school lunch money from an Oahu public school is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 19 on theft charges.

Ada T. Martin, 52, turned herself in Monday and posted bail.

She was indicted Thursday by a grand jury and charged with first-degree theft for allegedly taking $37,156.31 between July 2012 and April 2014 from Aliamanu Elementary School, where she worked as an office assistant.

The state Attorney General’s office on Friday said that Martin, who also is charged with using a computer in the commission of a separate crime, manipulated the school’s meal tracker program.

The theft charge is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The computer offense becomes a Class A felony because the underlying crime is a Class B felony, and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Martin previously pleaded guilty to first-degree theft in 1993 for food-stamp fraud, court records show. She was sentenced to five years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and ordered to repay $27,382 as a refund for overpayment for a roughly three-year period.

The Department of Education has said it brought the recent case to the attorney general because of concerns of possible criminal activity. Martin has been a DOE employee since 1995-96, when she was hired as a pre-audit clerk as an emergency hire. She was hired at Aliamanu in 2006 as a part-time clerk. The position was later renamed to office assistant.

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  • This is AGAIN the fault of Hawaii’s court system and judges. If people only get sentences like “probation” and “community service”, they think that they’re not going to get any kind of punishment and commit more crimes.

  • DOE on the hook again for not properly vetting the applicant on a money handling job. Despite questionable previous fiscal history was hired in a financial position????? Beginning to doubt the Department’s ability to manage?

    • It seems like the more you screw up the more you get rewarded. Feel sorry for the ones that do their job plus the work of others. The supervisors should also be supervised to curb this. Seems like they just let things slide because the work is getting done & it makes them look good while the real workers get zero credit.

  • How could school administrators not notice $37,000 missing over 2 years, there must be some kind of income expectation. I’m surprised it took them this long to figure out someone was stealing. At 180 school days a year, that’s over $100 each and every day stolen for 2 years.
    I guess we should be happy they caught her, nothing surprising me anymore with the DOE.

    • They didnʻt notice because the money never went in to the “coffers”. Martin was in charge of that, and she took the $ before depositing. I suppose the red flag went up when there were enought parent complaints that they sent $ to school to purchase lunches, and the funds didnʻt cover the expected number of lunches. Yeah, I wonder why it took so long before anyone did anything. There surely must have been many complaints. When you break it down to $100 a day, that amazes me that she wasnʻt caught sooner. Thatʻs some complicated scheme.

  • The article yesterday and today omits the important fact that she stole the lunch money from the parents of the children and not from the school.
    Which is why this theft went on so long undetected until some of the parents realized what was going on. Those at the school were clueless.
    Must admit that this woman was very clever. Given her prior criminal history, she is clearly deserving of a prison sentence. She is not going to pay this money back
    and i am pretty confident, she did not pay back the money she stole in food stamp overpayments either.
    Our system is very lenient and the criminals all know this.

    • What about the children who were told they didn’t have money in their account, went home to ask for more, replenished their account and got it stolen AGAIN?! For that amount, that dumb DOE knows of, children were repeat victims. Doesn’t DOE have an audit and complaint office? Did they not check all schools after the 3-4 in a row that were robbed by employees? And most were lunch money thievery.

      The kids/families need to file a class action against DOE and whoever was her supervisor, to get their money back.

    • The families should file a class action to get their money back and to punish DOE for not watching out for this easy target, lunch money. How many kids kept asking their family for more money because their account was empty?
      DOE, don’t you have an auditor office? Why weren’t they auditing every school since there have been many ROBBERIES like this one?

  • The people who recommended she be hired and those who approved her hiring should come under close scrutiny to determine if they should face disciplinary action as well……

  • The school had a computerized meal tracker system but she was able to outwit the system. So there should have been other controls in place, besides this system. Garbage in, you get garbage out.

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