The former executive director of Hale Ho’omalu, Molokai’s only women’s shelter, was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation for embezzling money from the organization.
The Maui News reported that Malia A. Pierce, 46, of Maunaloa, was sent immediately to jail after appearing before Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza in Wailuku last Tuesday.
Cardoza ordered Pierce to pay $7,343 in restitution to the battered women’s shelter in Ho’olehua. Pierce was denied her request for time to get her personal life in order before going to jail. Cardoza also denied her request to have her record cleared once she completed probation.
Deputy Prosecutor Iwalani Mountcastle objected to this last request, saying she had received that opportunity in 1999 for a contempt of court charge.
While director of Hale Ho’olmalu between December of 2005 and September of 2007, Pierce had taken money by having checks made out to herself for things such as storage sheds that were never bought and shelter repairs that were not completed.
Pierce used shelter money to also fly herself and her late husband and a family friend to Oahu, according to Mountcastle.
Court records indicate that the malfeasance was discovered by the shelter’s subsequent director after Pierce resigned in April 2008. Pierce pleaded no contest to second-degree theft.