Hawaii Education Department investigating official


HONOLULU — The Hawaii Department of Education is investigating its civil rights compliance director after complaints she conducted poor investigations and did campaign work on state time.

Hawaii News Now reported that department spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz confirmed the investigation of Susan Kitsu but declined to comment on details.

Kitsu declined comment to the television station. She is being represented by her union, the Hawaii Government Employees’ Association.

Civil rights attorney Eric Seitz says he believes Kitsu may be taking blame for institutional failings that have been going on a long time. He says the department has denied students mental health treatments and programs.

A campaign spokeswoman for state Sen. David Ige, who is challenging Gov. Neil Abercrombie in a Democratic primary, says Kitsu stepped down as deputy treasurer in February.