Theft charges have been filed against a former Maui county employee accused of building a fancy kitchen on the taxpayers’ dime, without permission.
It’s a story Always Investigating has been tracking since May of 2015 when we first learned of tens of thousands of dollars of county money spent to build a commercial kitchen at the Wailuku Public Works Baseyard, and without county approval.
Maui prosecutors have now filed theft charges against Raynard Oshiro, who’s alleged to have used his county pCard and purchase orders on the kitchen.
Oshiro had been suspended during an investigation and eventually retired. Sources said he agreed to pay back some of the money spent on the kitchen, which took shape over a number of years.
Maui county’s communications director Rod Antone says allegations of wrongdoing by county workers involve an administrative investigation, and then action from law enforcement if there’s evidence of a crime. He says the fact that there was an arrest in this case shows the system is working.
Antone’s statement in full read:
Maui County does what it always does when we believe there may be wrongdoing by any of our employees. When the county learns that there may be a misappropriation of public funds we investigate administratively first, then if criminal offenses are discovered we turn the case over to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
While the case is being investigated administratively, the county is prohibited by union contract from commenting on the matter. However, once criminal charges have been made the matter becomes public record. The fact that there was an arrest made in this case shows the system is working and we expect our prosecutors to take appropriate action.