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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 24, 2001

Hearing set in Kaua'i police probe

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser KauaÎi Bureau

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — The Kaua'i Police Commission yesterday accepted the report of an investigation of Chief George Freitas and set a Dec. 11 hearing to let Freitas respond.

Freitas, through attorney Margery Bronster, challenged the legality of the probe, arguing that it violated the Kaua'i County Charter and the commission's own rules.

Freitas was placed on paid leave in August after several police officers presented the commission with a series of accusations against him.

While the exact charges have not been made public, Freitas himself and comments at yesterday's commission meeting suggested that some involve the improper use of the chief's county vehicle, interference in a criminal investigation, and traffic violations.

County Attorney Hartwell Blake said investigator John Ko, who was on loan from the Honolulu Police Commission, was asked to investigate roughly 12 charges. After nearly three months of work, Ko recommended that half the counts be dismissed, Blake said.

The commission has made no decision about whether to reinstate Freitas, fire him or take some other action, he said.

Freitas has complained that he has never been given a comprehensive list of the accusations against him.

Blake said the commission yesterday decided "in fairness" to give him a hearing so Freitas can respond to a more complete list of charges.