Former charter school principal faces theft charges
  • Saturday, February 16, 2019
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Former charter school principal faces theft charges

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2011

    Authorities had been investigating possible misuse of public funds at Halau Lokahi Public Charter School, which was founded by Laara Allbrett and her family members in 2001. It was shut down in May 2015 by the Public Charter School Commission because of recurring financial problems.

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Laara Allbrett, former principal of Halau Lokahi Public Charter School, has been charged with four counts of theft in the second degree, Attorney General Doug Chin announced today.

Authorities had been investigating possible misuse of public funds at the small Hawaiian-focused school, which was founded by Allbrett and her family members in 2001. It was shut down in May 2015 by the Public Charter School Commission because of recurring financial problems.

Allbrett, 64, was charged Monday. The charging document alleges that while she was principal she obtained property worth more than $300 through deception on four occasions in 2013 and 2014. It does not offer further details of the alleged offenses, except to say they were not discovered by the state of Hawaii before 2016.

Theft in the second degree is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in jail and or a $10,000 fine.

Allbrett was forced out as Halau Lokahi’s director in July 2014 after the school ran out of money and stopped paying rent and teachers’ salaries before the end of the academic year. She was arrested in February 2015 and released pending investigation.

A search warrant affidavit filed in November 2014 for a raid on the school by the attorney general listed an array of questionable spending at the school.

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