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Kohala High School AD Arrested For Theft, Released Pending Investigation

By Tom Hasslinger
May 2, 2022, 3:45 PM HST
* Updated May 2, 4:34 PM
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A Kohala High School employee was arrested Thursday on suspicion of theft and criminal tampering.

Laurie Koustic was arrested and released pending investigation for fourth-degree theft and two counts of second-degree criminal tampering, the Hawai‘i Police Department stated.

Koustic is the school’s athletic director.

She has been placed on leave, a spokesman for the state Department of Education told Big Island Now. The school could not comment further on the open investigation, being conducted by the police department and the DOE, the spokesman said.

A letter from the school was sent home to parents regarding the issue on Thursday.

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“The alleged incident will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate actions will be taken based on the findings,” the letter from Principal Amy Stafford read. “We respect the privacy of all of our staff members and ask for your patience during the investigation. While we are not able to discuss the details of this confidential personnel matter, we do want to assure you that the safety and well-being of our students and staff is a top priority.

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“Kohala High School is committed to safeguarding the physical and emotional well-being of our students and we appreciate your continued support.”

Tom Hasslinger
Tom Hasslinger is a journalist who lives in Kailua-Kona. Prior to joining Big Island Now, he worked as the managing editor for West Hawaii Today and deputy editor for The Garden Island newspaper on Kauai. He's worked for over 15 years as a reporter for the Oahu-based Civil Beat news outlet, as well as in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and Douglas Wyoming.
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