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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 24, 2006

Kaua'i panel recommends removal of police chief

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

LIHU'E, Kaua'i The Kaua'i County Board of Ethics yesterday adopted a hearings officer's report that concluded that Police Commission member Michael Ching inappropriately influenced the selection of K.C. Lum as chief of police.

The Ethics Board has recommended to the County Council that Ching be removed from the commission and that Lum's contract as chief be invalidated. However, the request for Ching's removal is moot; he said he resigned from the Police Commission on Wednesday.

Ching in 2004 nominated Lum to serve as interim chief, while Lum was one of several candidates for the permanent job. Ching, then chairman of the commission, has been a forceful supporter of Lum, who won the job by a 4-1 commission vote.

Ching said he was not aware of the Ethics Board action. "I wasn't even informed that it was up today," he said.

He insisted Lum was selected through a fair process.

"There was nothing wrong with the process," Ching said.

Lum said he had heard about the Ethics Board decision, but had not seen the text. He said his understanding is that the decision calls for the finance director to invalidate his contract.

Reach Jan TenBruggencate at jant@honoluluadvertiser.com.