Ex-HPD officer files suit after being ousted for ‘toxic’ extramarital affair with coworker

He says his law enforcement career was wrecked after he tried to end the relationship.
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 7:49 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 31, 2022 at 8:13 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Honolulu police officer alleges he was ousted from the HPD after he had a “consensual,” extramarital relationship with a female officer that went toxic.

But Honolulu Police Department disciplinary reports say that the woman was a subordinate and that the officer — Justin Castro — forced her to continue their relationship.

Castro’s suit alleged that his law enforcement career was wrecked after he tried to end the relationship with the woman and she retaliated.

“Like the Glenn Close character (in the movie) “Fatal Attraction,” she started sending the wife text messages, and videos and pictures about their affair,” said Castro’s attorney Rodney Bridgers.

Castro said he filed restraining orders against the woman, but they were ignored. He also alleged that he was investigated and later arrested when she filed complaints for terroristic threatening and abuse of a family member.

Bridgers said the woman even bought a house a few doors down from Castro after the break up.

“He lost his second job working with TSA at the airport. Justin remained on ROPA status until he was constructively terminated,” he said.

HPD conducted a lengthy internal investigation which led to termination proceedings against Castro.

Although he voluntarily resigned before the disciplinary proceedings were complete, HPD and Castro’s lawyer agree that he was essentially terminated by the police force.

In its annual report to the state Legislature, police officials said Castro “engaged in a dating or romantic relationship with a subordinate officer and compelled (her) to continue the relationship or face possible termination.”

The woman was a recruit when the affair began.

Former HPD Deputy Chief John McCarthy said romantic relationships between HPD supervisors and their subordinates are improper.

“It’s an abuse of power in a sense. No matter how you look at it, it does fit well, doesn’t pass the smell test,” McCarthy said. “It’s not an accepted form of conduct — especially in a training division — where you’re victimizing young, new employees who don’t know better.”

McCarthy added “it’s almost a form of manipulation, where they have to comply or else lose their job.”

Castro’s suit seeks unspecified damages to be proven at trial.