Source of internal complaint named

LIHU‘E — A source close to Kaua‘i Police Department officer Darla Abbatiello-Higa said a complaint filed by Abbatiello-Higa is the reason the chief and assistant chiefs were placed on leave pending an investigation.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. would not comment Thursday on what prompted the decisions.

“We are unable to reveal the status or any information about complaints while they are in process,” the mayor’s executive assistant Beth Tokioka said Wednesday.

Abbatiello-Higa is the supervisor of a police department youth program and a background check specialist for KPD Administrative and Technical Bureau.

The Police Commission will hold three executive sessions on special meeting Tuesday to hear testimony from Carvalho and county attorneys regarding personnel actions related to a complaint filed Jan. 31.

There’s no official confirmation the complaint is linked to decisions to place KPD Chief Darryl Perry and two assistant police chiefs on leave.

Acting Chief Michael Contrades and Acting Deputy Chief Mark Begley are now heading the police department.

Capt. Sherwin Perez is acting assistant chief of the Investigative Services Bureau, and Lt. Jon Takamura is acting assistant chief of the Patrol Services Bureau.

• Tom LaVenture, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or tlaventure@thegardenisland.com.

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