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Connections Public Charter School files complaints

MEDIA RELEASE

On Aug. 25, 2011, Connections Public Charter School and one of its employees filed two complaints in the Hilo Circuit Court to protect the school’s independence and right to hire their own attorneys.

The first complaint accused the governing body for charter schools and its chairman, Carl Takamura, of intentionally violating the Sunshine Law and threatening to take away the school’s charter, if the school did not fire a Hilo lawyer the school and its employee hired to assist them.

The school, which is in Hilo, and employee hired Ted Hong, a Hilo attorney, only after the state Attorney General’s Office advised them to do so.

According to the complaint, the panel and its chairman have decided to unlawfully force the school to fire its attorney or face possible revocation of its charter.

The second complaint was filed against the state Ethics Commission and its executive director, Les Kondo. That complaint asks the court to stop an ongoing ethics investigation against the school and its employee. According to the complaint, charter school employees fall outside the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission.

Additionally, the school passed an independent audit and clearly documented that no ethics violation occurred.

In both complaints, the school and employees point out that the Ethics Commission and chairman of the review panel, have conspired behind closed doors and developed a plan to force the school and employee to fire their attorney.

Hong said, “This investigation and the review panel’s actions are a prime example of bureaucrats that still refuse to recognize and treat charter schools as independent and how hard charter schools have to fight just to protect their basic rights.”

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