The Hawaii Labor Relations Board this week will consider a circumstance involving a general public elementary college principal and vice principal who had been fired in 2018 after they were being accused of getting sexual relations on campus throughout an extramarital affair.
Erin Kusumoto, the former vice principal of Pearl Metropolis Highlands Elementary School, submitted a prohibited observe grievance against the Hawaii Federal government Workers Association final year just after the union refused to just take her situation to arbitration to combat her firing.
She is also separately challenging the steps of condition Superintendent of Colleges Christina Kishimoto in the firing mainly because Kusumoto contends she was terminated with out correct bring about, and was punished too seriously.
Kishimoto wrote in Kusumoto’s termination letter that a 2018 investigation uncovered that “there is adequate proof to conclude that VP Kusumoto inappropriately engaged in carry out of a sexual nature and/or sexual relations with Principal Nakasato on the PCHES campus in advance of, for the duration of and right after function hrs.”
The termination letter also concluded Kusumoto inappropriately applied state services and perform time for particular factors when she “engaged in inappropriate perform of a sexual character and/or sexual relations” with Principal Michael Nakasato in the course of DOE do the job time. Nakasato was also terminated.
The letter alleged Kusumoto also violated DOE’s Code of Carry out by lying about the affair when DOE officials at first requested her about it. She later on admitted to the romantic relationship, according to the complaint filed with the HLRB on Kusumoto’s behalf.
The allegations came to the awareness of DOE officers soon after Nakasato’s wife confronted Kusumoto about it at the faculty in the drop of 2017, and then extensively distributed an e-mail months later on on the point out procedure that included “graphic accusations” the few had sexual intercourse on campus through university several hours, according to the labor board complaint.
Kusumoto’s law firm, her father Miles Miyamoto, argued in filings ahead of the HLRB that the investigation hardly ever generated any evidence the couple had sex on campus during college hours, which was the most “egregious” demand in the case.
The filing also alleges the e mail from Nakasato’s spouse accusing Kusumoto and Nakasato of misconduct was a “vicious particular attack” and an incorrect use of the point out e mail process.
The e-mail circulated to at the very least 1,000 people today, and the DOE administration failed to take out it from the process even immediately after Kusumoto complained about it, according to the HLRB submitting. The grievance alleges the email was left in the procedure since the administration “intended to intimidate (Kusumoto) to not challenge the DOE in any way.”
Kusumoto’s grievance also alleges the investigation was flawed in a wide range of other ways, and amounted to an invasion of her privateness.
The filing contends the affair by itself did not lead to any on-campus disruption, and cites interviews with lengthy-time personnel at the faculty who explained they did not detect any modify in the connection in between the college administrators after it began.
“They admitted to acquiring intercourse on campus, but what they admitted to was just after hrs,” Miyamoto claimed in an job interview Wednesday.
“Miss Kusumoto’s place has normally been that she approved that she must be held accountable for her perform, but her experience has been that termination was as well excessive of a penalty,” mentioned Miyamoto. As an alternative, the division could have suspended or demoted her, he claimed.
According to the complaint, Kusumoto notified HGEA she was ready to bear the complete price of preventing her firing at arbitration. Miyamoto informed the union he was willing to represent her at no value to the HGEA.
The union at first filed a grievance about DOE’s dealing with of the situation, but then notified Kusumoto in late 2019 it would not contest the firing at arbitration, according to the prohibited tactics criticism. The complaint alleges that was a breach of the union’s obligation to represent her in the case.
Randy Perreira, govt director of the Hawaii Federal government Personnel Affiliation, claimed the union did a extensive assessment of the facts just before selecting how to move forward.
“In this certain circumstance, based on the specifics that we gathered on our very own as effectively as the thoroughness of the investigation by the Department of Education, we produced the perseverance that there was no benefit to go to arbitration,” he mentioned.
“We believe in that via the class of this hearing, it will show that we did not act in an arbitrary way, and we gave the concern due thing to consider but found that it did not benefit arbitration as a violation of the agreement — that the disciplinary motion taken was justifiable,” Perreira explained.
A spokeswoman for the DOE declined to remark on the situation, indicating the section does not focus on lively or pending litigation.
The HLRB listening to on the declare from HGEA is scheduled to get started Friday early morning.