The last time some people saw Kaua’i Police Department Assistant Chief Clayton Arinaga, he was in full uniform, and students at King Kaumuali’i Elementary School were asking him questions, including whether or not the pistol attached to his hip was real.
There he was later that same day, joking with other county employees and other celebrity readers in Principal Karen Liu’s office, about their experiences reading to students at the school.
This week, though, his office door has been closed, he hasn’t returned telephone calls, and fellow police officers who wished not to be identified but who are known to The Garden Island have been told he was asked to turn in his badge, weapon, and plastic card he uses to access police headquarters.
Another reliable source who is also known to The Garden Island but wished not to be identified confirmed that Arinaga is on administrative leave with pay. The assumption is that an investigation continues.
KPD Chief K.C. Lum earlier this week said he could not comment much when asked about Arinaga, but did say this: “There’s not much I can say about that except I can give you the press release that we have on this.
“The police department cannot comment on any active cases due to confidentiality. We can assure the public that the department will not tolerate misconduct by our department employees, and will take appropriate action when warranted,” said Lum.
“And that would be the only comment that I can make at this time.”
Arinaga is one of three assistant chiefs in the KPD hierarchy, reporting directly to Lum and Deputy Chief Ron Venneman. Arinaga is in charge of the Patrol Services Bureau, which includes patrol and traffic safety officers and office staff.
He has been with the department for many years. He could not be reached for comment this week.