Internal Affairs Probe Clears Detective

Sheryl Sunia
Sheryl Sunia
David Hayakawa, Sunia's attorney
David Hayakawa, Sunia's attorney

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Vindication for an embattled Honolulu police officer. KHNL News 8 has learned a detective accused of police misconduct during a high-profile murder trial last year has been cleared of wrongdoing.

For the past year, a dark cloud has loomed over Honolulu police detective Sheryl Sunia.

"Her whole life has been H.P.D. She's dedicated her life to public service," David Hayakawa, Sunia's attorney, said. "To be accused of lying and fabricating evidence, what could be worse for a police officer?''

But now, the skies are clear.

An anonymous letter triggered the H.P.D. Internal Affairs probe. It accused Sunia of misconduct during a 2003 murder case. Now, a year later, the police department has come to a decision.

"Any claims of wrongdoing were found to be unsubstantiated," Hayakawa said. "And no punishment will take place whatsoever."

Her attorney says it's been a difficult year for the long-time officer. The allegations surfaced during a trial that ended with a hung jury.

"She's stripped of her badge, her gun. Her radio is ripped out of her car in front of other officers," Hayakawa said. "It was a nightmare.''

Now, Sunia wants to return to homicide.

"Now the next step is to make her whole, I mean, to get her position back,'' Hayakawa said.

Earlier this year, Sunia and other officers filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the department. That's still pending.