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Police officer misconduct in DUI case alleged

MPD asks victim to come forward

The Maui News

Police said they are investigating allegations of misconduct by a Maui Police Department officer after receiving information Monday about a potential abuse of authority.

Police did not provide additional details but said a Hawaii News Now reporter provided the information.

According to a Hawaii News Now story that aired Tuesday, a woman alleged that an officer sent her text messages and called her after arresting her for DUI in the early-morning hours of July 25. The officer invited the woman to his house and offered to help her by testifying in a way that would help her if her case went to trial, according to the news report.

Police said the Criminal Investigation Division obtained text messages and voice recordings that support the allegations against the officer. The offenses being investigated include attempted perjury, first-degree hindering prosecution and tampering with a witness, police said.

Police said the officer has been with the department for four years.

“Because this is an active investigation, the name of the officer will not be released, and we will not be able to offer any more information,” an MPD news release said. “We ask that the victim in this incident contact us.”

In a statement, Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu said: “The Maui Police Department will always take seriously any accusations of misconduct by any of its officers. Upon being made aware of this situation, we aggressively investigated this matter.”

“We want to assure everyone in our community that we have your safety in mind,” Faaumu said. “If you have a complaint against an officer, we encourage you to contact that officer’s supervisor or you can also contact our Internal Affairs Division. If you are uncomfortable with speaking to us, you can also file a complaint with the Maui Police Commission.”

According to court records, the woman was charged with habitually driving under the influence of an intoxicant, a felony charge that can be brought when someone arrested for DUI has been convicted of DUI two or more times within a 10-year period. She also was charged with inattention to driving and not having automobile insurance.