Police union blocks release of details about officer's contentious reinstatement
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The police union is fighting the police chief's plan to release information regarding the reinstatement of police officer Darren Cachola, who was fired after a violent video of him with his ex-girlfriend surfaced in 2014.
Cachola is also getting years of back pay, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Hawaii News Now reported in February on the decision of an arbitrator who oversaw the disputed case. The decision was then sealed and parties involved were put under a 45-day gag order.
That time limit has passed and Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard was reportedly going to make details of the case public Friday.
But SHOPO, the police union, filed an injunction.
And on Thursday, the state Labor Relations Board approved a temporary order preventing the release of information. Another hearing on the matter is set for June 4.
The union claims state law only allows information regarding firings to be made public after the officer has exhausted appeals. Since Cachola is back on the job at the police academy, SHOPO claims he is covered.
Cachola was fired by previous Police Chief Louis Kealoha after the officer was caught on video fighting with his girlfriend in a Waipahu restaurant.
He was never arrested, instead getting a ride home from responding officers.
Weeks later, a grand jury did not indict him but Kealoha still moved forward with his termination, firing Cachola for failing to leave a liquor establishment.
That ended up being an improper reason for HPD to fire him.
Last year, Cachola had another run-in with the law after his wife called 911, saying he was choking her.
When officers arrived at the home, sources say, she recanted and said she was not hurt. Again, he was not arrested.
Cachola worked to try to get his job back since he was fired in 2015, something former acting HPD Chief Cary Okimoto refused to allow and that sent the case into arbitration.
This story will be updated.
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