Ex-county workers accused of vacation theft

Raynard Oshiro

WAILUKU — Two former Maui County Public Works employees pleaded not guilty Wednesday to second-degree theft charges involving unrecorded vacation time, according to sources familiar with the case.

Raynard Oshiro, 59, of Kihei and Lea Cadiz, 38, of Pukalani were arrested last month for taking vacation days without recording them as such for payroll. They were released on $5,000 bail each.

A pretrial conference was scheduled for Feb. 23 in 2nd Circuit Court.

The alleged theft occurred between January and November 2014, according to court documents.

Oshiro, a district supervisor at the time, allegedly falsified records to cover up Cadiz’s undocumented vacation time that he approved, allegedly costing the county over $1,000, the sources said.

Lea Cadiz

Maui County Communications Director Rod Antone said Wednesday the theft was discovered during an administrative investigation into payroll records relating to questions surrounding a well-furnished commercial kitchen in the Wailuku Public Works baseyard. Oshiro allegedly outfitted the kitchen with tens of thousands dollars worth of items charged to a government purchasing card, or pCard, in 2015, according to a Honolulu TV news report.

In November 2015, the Maui Police Department completed its criminal investigation into the matter and turned over the evidence to the prosecutor’s office.

The theft case is separate from the kitchen case, which is still under investigation, Antone said. He said Cadiz is not involved with the kitchen case.

“We investigated and followed proper procedures and handed it over to the prosecution,” he said. “What you see now is the logical conclusion in court.”

Oshiro retired from Maui County in 2015 after 38 years of service, according to an online edition of the High Street Journal, an official publication of Maui County.

Cadiz, who served in an administrative support role in Oshiro’s office, has since been terminated, Antone said.

Attorneys for both Oshiro and Cadiz declined comment outside the courtroom Wednesday.

It is unclear when or if the kitchen investigation will result in additional charges for Oshiro. Antone could not comment on questions regarding the amount of kitchen equipment purchased, where it is currently located and what the county plans to do with it.

He added that it is too early to say if any changes need to be made to pCard-use policies.

* Chris Sugidono can be reached at csugidono@mauinews.com.