Maui police chief praised for speaking out about officer arrests - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Maui police chief praised for speaking out about officer arrests

Courtesy: Akaku Maui Community Media Courtesy: Akaku Maui Community Media
Officer Anthony Maldonado Officer Anthony Maldonado
Officer Chase Keliipaakaua Officer Chase Keliipaakaua
Damien Kaina Damien Kaina
WAILUKU, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Maui's police chief didn't hold back when speaking publicly recently about the arrest of two of his officers.

"I want to reassure the public that any wrongdoing by members of the department, such as corruption, will not be tolerated," said Chief Tivoli Faaumu, in a video posted on Maui County's public access television website.

Maui officers Anthony Maldonado and Chase Keliipaakaua were arrested earlier this month.  

Police sources say Maldonado was in Lahaina when he asked a man for his ID. The officer reportedly saw that the man had a large amount of cash -- more than $1,000. The victim told police that Maldonado took the money from him.

Then, Keliipaakaua and another man, Damien Kaina, Jr., were arrested days later for allegedly trying to bribe the victim. Sources say Kaina went to the victim's house and offered him cash to withdraw the complaint. 

All three have been released as the investigation continues.  

Maldonado is on unpaid leave, while Keliipaakaua is on desk duty.

College instructor Aaron Hunger, a former police officer, is praising the chief for being out front about the arrests. 

"The majority of the officers in Maui, Honolulu, Kauai are good hard-working, policy-following officers that don't want this label on them," said Hunger, "I think they really want to distinguish themselves from these individuals as much as the police chief feels the department, as an entity, needs to distinguish itself."

Hunger said this kind of transparency reassures the public that the department has nothing to hide and helps restore trust. He'd like to see more department chiefs follow Maui's lead.

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