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Vice officers subject of criminal probe

LIHU’E — Lawyers in the state Department of the Attorney General are conducting a criminal investigation of three Kaua’i Police Department vice officers who allegedly did not attend a training session on Maui last year that was paid for with federal funds.

The investigation includes subpoenas that were issued in November.

On Tuesday, state Deputy Attorney General Christopher D.W. Young went before Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe for a court order to compel narcotics officers Wesley Perreira and Lawrence Stem to turn over records of their trip to Maui.

Additionally, Young asked that Watanabe order Stacy Sibayan-Perreira to turn over information related to the Maui trip.

Sibayan-Perreira is married to Perreira. She is also KPD’s domestic violence coordinator.

Young pointed out in court that all three gave different excuses why they did not have the requested documents when they were interviewed in November by special investigator and KPD Lt. Roy Asher at the county prosecutor’s office.

Asher was appointed by leaders in the attorney general’s office to be a special investigator.

Watanabe gave the trio a few days to come up with the requested documents, if they exist. Otherwise, all three will meet with Asher on Feb. 28 at the prosecutor’s office.

According to court records, lawyers in the attorney general’s office launched a criminal investigation into allegations that Perreira, Stem and Channing Tada did not attend an indoor marijuana investigation course Sept. 12 and 13 on Maui.

Court records show that, if they allegedly did not attend the course, then the officers are alleged to have committed theft of government funds, and to have falsified records in connection with the training.

According to court records, the criminal investigation is a joint investigation by officers of the KPD and the attorney general’s office.

Court records show that Asher served Perreira with a subpoena Nov. 21. The subpoena commanded Perreira to provide testimony under oath about his trip to Maui.

According to the subpoena, Perreira was also commanded to bring with him reports, letters, sick-leave forms, credit-card receipts, hotel receipts, gasoline receipts, and other bills related to his stay on Maui.

On Nov. 28, court records show that Perreira went to the county prosecuting attorney’s office to be interviewed by Asher. After Asher gave Perreira his Miranda warning (about the possibility of self-incrimination and the right to remain silent, have an attorney with him, etc.), Perreira did not give a statement, court records show.

According to court records, Asher then asked Perreira if he had any records to turn over. Perreira indicated that he did not bring any documents because he did not want to.

Asher served Stem with a similar subpoena Nov. 21, court records show. On Nov. 28, Stem went to the county interviewed by Asher. Like Perreira, Stem did not give a statement to Asher, and he did not bring any documents with him.

According to court records, on Nov. 1, Sibayan-Perreira refused to voluntarily provide a statement to Asher. In response, lawyers in the state attorney general’s office issued a subpoena commanding her to provide testimony under oath, and to bring records related to the activities of the officers while they were on Maui.

On Nov. 21, Sibayan-Perreira was interviewed by Asher, but she declined to make a statement. She was informed that if she did not make a statement and turn over records, then a motion to compel her to do so would be filed in Fifth Circuit Court.

The activities of the three vice officers are of interest to defense attorney Michael Soong. He subpoenaed KPD officials to turn over records of the vice officers’ trip to Maui.

Earlier this month, Soong indicated at a court hearing that the officers submitted critiques of classes that they did not go to. He also said at that court hearing that he believed that a criminal investigation was going on about the Maui trip.

Soong is representing a client charged with felony drug counts, and he said information on the Maui trip points to credibility of the vice officers.

The Maui trip was mentioned in KPD Assistant Chief Clayton Arinaga’s lawsuit that was filed Jan. 31 in Circuit Court. In the lawsuit, Arinaga alleged retaliation under the state’s Whistleblowers’ Protection Act.

Arinaga claimed that he was retaliated against for reporting to KPD Chief K.C. Lum that three vice officers who went to Maui last year for a training seminar did not attend any events.

He alleged that, because he blew the whistle, he was retaliated against, and was investigated for hindering prosecution in an incident in 2000 that involved a man who had threatened to commit suicide.

In his lawsuit, Arinaga claimed that he intervened and defused the incident so that no one would get hurt.

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