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Embattled HPD commander reassigned after another officer files complaint against him

Acting Assistant Chief Stephen Gerona continues to rise through the ranks despite being...
Acting Assistant Chief Stephen Gerona continues to rise through the ranks despite being included in complaints and lawsuits.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 5:32 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A member of the brass at the Honolulu Police Department was reassigned Friday after another complaint was filed against him this week, Hawaii News Now has learned.

HPD Major Stephen Gerona has been the subject of multiple Hawaii News Now reports after four veteran officers came forward, accusing him of bullying, retaliation, harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

One of those officers filed a lawsuit against the department naming Gerona in her claim. The others filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

After news about Gerona came to light, state Sen. Kurt Fevella publicly called for Gerona’s police powers to be removed because of the allegations.

“Men in blue and women (are) terrified of this man,” Fevella said.

But HPD’s leadership, including Interim Chief Rade Vanic, refused to remove Gerona as the head of the Criminal Investigations Division. The high-profile unit investigates murders, robberies, child abuse, missing persons and sexual assaults, to name a few.

It was only after the department was served with the latest complaint Friday that HPD reassigned him to the Legislative Liaison Office.

The new complaint was filed by another female officer in CID.

While the Legislative Liaison Office has no other officers for him to command, it is still in the main HPD building ― just one floor away from some of the officers who filed complaints.

Critics of the reassignment maintain that Gerona should be on leave, without police powers.

The Honolulu Police Commission said they will be discussing the allegations at their next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 6.

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