LIHU‘E — Something has been amiss for quite a while at Lihu‘e Airport, according to airport employees, cabbies, pilots and even a senator. Most blame airport management.
There was the business services supervisor’s embezzlement confession of last fall, the Transportation Security Administration’s fines for security breaches last year, a management-caused security breach that required the evacuation of a terminal in 2009 and reports that the state Department of Transportation had sent over representatives from O‘ahu to “coach” the airport’s leadership.
George “Manu” Crabbe III, DOT Airports Division Kaua‘i district manager, is on a leave of absence from his post of five years, according to DOT officials. However, the word around the airport is Crabbe won’t be coming back.
Friday, KITV 4 News reported employees within Crabbe’s office say he has been terminated and is on leave until Aug. 2, at which time his employment with the state will end.
A spokesperson from DOT said Crabbe’s “Aug. 2 departure is still to be determined” but would not comment further because “he is still a DOT employee.”
When asked if the department is conducting an investigation related to Crabbe, the spokesperson said there was one a while back but he could not comment on what is happening now.
Last fall, The Garden Island reported Brennon Morioka, DOT director, said internal and state Attorney General investigations were going on into many allegations related to former business services supervisor Maycia-Rea Matsuyoshi’s embezzlement confession, and if it warranted disciplinary action against Crabbe or the airport’s assistant district manager, Timothy Skinner.
In June, the Attorney General’s office charged Matsuyoshi with three counts of second-degree theft. Transportation officials said she admitted to stealing approximately $13,000 in airport funds over a period of several months.
Skinner will be assuming Crabbe’s duties in his absence, DOT said.