EXCLUSIVE: Police want to demote sergeant accused of giving fell - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

EXCLUSIVE: Police want to demote sergeant accused of giving fellow officer special treatment

Surveillance video of a fight between Sgt. Darren Cachola and his girlfriend led to an internal investigation, and questions about how police on the scene handled the case. Surveillance video of a fight between Sgt. Darren Cachola and his girlfriend led to an internal investigation, and questions about how police on the scene handled the case.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Honolulu Police Department wants to demote the sergeant who's accused of failing to follow police procedures in the case of another officer whose fight with his girlfriend was caught on video last fall, sources told Hawaii News Now.

The police department already wants to fire Sgt. Darren Cachola, who fought with his girlfriend inside and outside of a Waipahu restaurant last September.

In a new development, sources said HPD wants to demote Sgt. Mike Kahikina to corporal because he's accused of giving Cachola preferential treatment at the scene.That demotion would mean a cut of about $5,000 to his annual salary.

Kahikina is expected to appeal the decision.

Kahikina was the responding supervisor to the Cachola incident and sources said he violated police policy by not having officers submit a written report; he also failed to notify a higher-ranking officer or the internal affairs division.

Meanwhile, Cachola remains at HPD -- with his police powers removed and on a desk job – and his lawyer said he will appeal the firing, a process that could take weeks or months.

Attorney Howard Luke told Hawaii News Now, "Sgt. Cachola strongly disagrees that there is any basis for termination."     

If his internal appeal is not successful and he is ultimately fired, Cachola and the police union are expected to file a grievance to try to get his job back. The case could take another year or so as it goes through an arbitration process.  

Experts in police discipline said Cachola has a chance of keeping his job, because when an officer is fired for "unprofessional behavior," that's subject to interpretation and could very well to be overturned by an arbitrator.

If that happens, Cachola would be re-hired with back pay and all benefits restored.

An HPD spokeswoman said the department said she cannot comment on pending discipline cases.

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