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Kona woman charged for vandalizing Hulihee Palace

A 27-year-old Kailua-Kona woman is facing a pair of petty misdemeanor charges for allegedly vandalizing Hulihee Palace in Historic Kailua Village earlier this month.

On June 1, Charleigh Flournoy allegedly broke into the historic palace by shattering a lanai window on the lower makai side of the building.

Flournoy reportedly then triggered alarms that notified staff someone was inside the premises. However, before staff could locate the suspect, the woman allegedly wandered around, making her way upstairs to the makai lanai.

In an attempt to flee, staff reported Flournoy repeatedly kicking a door made of koa, breaking off panels in the process.

The woman was then spotted by an on-site caretaker and exited the palace’s back door. A Hawaii Police Department officer apprehended Flournoy after she reportedly jumped over a seawall and swam to the other side of Kailua Bay.

Flournoy was charged with second-degree criminal trespassing and fourth-degree criminal property damage, both of which are petty misdemeanors. She made her initial appearance in Kona District Court on June 2 during which she pleaded not guilty to the offenses. She was also granted supervised release. She is due back in court June 28 for a pre-trial conference.

“It is very sad to see this damage,” DLNR Division of State Parks archaeologist Tracy Tam Sing said after seeing the historic door and window at Hulihee Palace vandalized.

Tam Sing inspected the damage three days after the alleged incident.

“Old glass is very hard to find, so repairs will have to use new aged glass instead,” he said, noting that the DLNR worked with State Historic Preservation Division to conduct emergency repairs. “We’re very thankful to SHPD for its timely review in order to do the repairs as soon as possible.”

Division of State Parks staff then contacted Glenn Mason of Mason Architecture &Historic Consulting to order aged glass to replace the shattered window panel. A qualified carpenter to do the work is expected to be hired next week.

“An essential qualification in repairing these historic features is experience in working with old or historic homes in order to complete a ‘same for same’ or ‘like for like’ restoration,” Tam Sing added.

The cost of the damage hasn’t been determined yet. Repair funds will come from DSP or through the insurance of Daughters of Hawaii, the nonprofit operating and managing Hulihee Palace.

Hulihee Palace was built in 1838 by Gov. John Adams Kuakini and became the Kona residence of Princess Ruth before King David Kalakaua revamped it for use as his summer palace. Until 1914, when it was sold, the palace was used as a royal home.

Efforts by the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Co., which went on to build Kona Inn, to purchase the property in the 1920s were blocked the Daughters of Hawaii, which lobbied the Territory of Hawaii to purchase the palace. In 1925, the purchase was executed and the palace was leased to its caretakers, Daughters of Hawaii.

Restoration of the palace was finished in 1927 and several subsequent restorations, including in 1976 and 2007 following the October 2006 earthquakes, have maintained Hulihee.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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