KIUC spends $800,000 for CEO home

Besides the purchase of a home for $777,617.24 for Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative President and Chief Executive Officer H.A. “Dutch” Achenbach, KIUC leaders authorized the purchase of $11,432 in new furniture for the home, and $739.57 for a gas grill for the Pua Ko subdivision home, The Garden Island has learned.

Detailed financial records faxed by an anonymous source to the newspaper office last week also reveal the purchase of nine vehicles for selected KIUC officials, at a total cost of $239,776. Another anonymous source, who is known to The Garden Island and who works at KIUC, said the delivery of those vehicles to the top-ranking KIUC employees led several of them to sell their private vehicles, though no one at KIUC would confirm or deny that the new vehicles may be used by the employees as their personal vehicles.

Achenbach declined to respond to questions about these expenses before Monday.

The information faxed to the newspaper office contains work-order numbers and some itemization.

Chief among the questions that Achenbach did not respond to (he said he would respond by tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 24) is who authorized the purchases, and whether the coop’s members were made aware of these purchases in any way.

KIUC’s purchase of home for Achenbach at 4174 Lahi Place for $775,000 (KIUC records list the expense at $777,617.24) was listed in July in the Kaua’i Business Report, based upon Multiple Listing Service records, and was apparently not made known to members as a paid expense.

According to the information faxed to the newspaper from KIUC records through the end of September 2005, here are some of the other expenses noted for KIUC board or corporate use:

. $12,239 for an HP copier for the board of directors;

. $24,287.96 new furniture for the board of directors’ office;

. $8,308.11 for executive conference-room chairs;

. $28,460.81 for “contracting services” and “electrical contractor;”

. $2,294.41 for new construction permitting;

. $43,074.14 for a “notebook system” for the board of directors.

The board consists of nine members including board Chair Gregg Gardiner.

Achenbach did not provide an answer to a question asking if members of the board of directors were crossing the line into operational issues. Board members are not supposed to be responsible for operational matters, but only general governance issues, according to the Web site, kiuc.coop.

KIUC officials said at least $90,000 has been spent on travel so far this year, but that is likely a partial reckoning. This included board travel and travel for employees in the department of member services.

KIUC leaders provided no itemized list of travel expenses when one was requested by The Garden Island.

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