Dept. of Education investigating official
HONOLULU — The Hawaii Department of Education is investigating its civil rights compliance director after complaints she conducted poor investigations and did campaign work on state time.
Department spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz confirmed the investigation of Susan Kitsu.
“To be fair to all parties, we are unable to comment on the investigation,” Dela Cruz said.
Kitsu declined comment. She is being represented by her union, the Hawaii Government Employees’ Association.
Civil rights attorney Eric Seitz said he believes Kitsu may be taking blame for institutional failings that have been going on a long time.
The department has denied students mental health treatments and programs, he said.
This week, state lawmakers approved $190,000 in settlements for three children with mental disabilities who were mistreated at an elementary school. Seitz said the complaints were among 30 to 40 complaints he’s been involved with over the past three decades.
“In every single civil rights complaint that has been filed administratively, the DOE has refused to conduct a competent investigation or has whitewashed the situation,” Seitz said.
A campaign spokeswoman for state Sen. David Ige, who is challenging Gov. Neil Abercrombie in a Democratic primary in the Hawaii governor’s race, said Kitsu stepped down as deputy treasurer in February.
Ige said in a statement that Kitsu took leave when she stepped down.
“Unfortunately, since that time she has not been as involved, but does continue to volunteer,” Ige said.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.