LIHUE — Kauai County Councilmember Arthur Brun was released from police custody after posting $10,000 bail Wednesday evening.
Brun, 47, of Waimea, was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly running from police during a traffic stop near the post office on Rice Street, where police say he hit an officer with his car as he fled.
According to a Kauai Police Department press release, officers arrested Brun several miles away for resisting an order to stop and assaulting a law enforcement officer.
A news release issued by county officials Tuesday night said Brun was pulled over in a “dark tinted silver Honda sedan” and fled when police approached the car.
A little before 1:50 p.m. Tuesday, one officer radioed into headquarters saying he was in pursuit of a Honda sedan, “going through the Hanamaulu lights right now.”
The chase reached the entrance of Kauai Beach Resort about a mile north within a few minutes. One officer could then be heard over the police scanner saying he was following Brun toward the tree-lined entrance to the resort and told officers in another patrol car to “go straight in case he goes on foot, back toward the hotel.”
A moment later, Brun was in custody.
Brun was elected to the council in 2016 with 11,003 votes. He was re-elected in 2018 with 9,398 votes. He also ran for the council in 2014, finishing ninth with 8,120 votes.
He is committee chair with Parks &Recreation/Transportation Committee and is vice chair of the Public Safety &Human Service Committee. He is a member of the Planning Committee, Housing &Intergovernmental Relations Committee and Committee of the Whole.
In response to inquiries about how Brun’s arrest will affect his status as a councilmember, Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro offered the following written statement via email Wednesday afternoon:
“As with any criminal proceeding, there is a presumption of innocence and due process that must be followed. The investigation of the charges brought against Councilmember Brun are still ongoing, therefore, we are unable to comment on what the possible outcome may be in this specific situation.”
Kaneshiro’s statement also pointed out that, according to The Rules of the Council of the County of Kaua‘i, specifically Rule No. 2, the council is only allowed to discipline its members for “disorderly or contemptuous behavior or for personal vilification in its presence.” The last three words of that sentence are important.
The Kauai County Charter contains two sections that deal with procedures for handling potential disciplinary actions against a council member: Section 23.13, which says “any officer appointed or elected may be impeached for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office,” and Section 3.04, which says that any member of the council that is convicted of a felony, “shall immediately forfeit the office.”
One of the two charges Brun was arrested for is assault against a law enforcement officer, a class C felony. In addition to impeachment, Brun could face up to five years in jail and a mandatory minimum sentence of one month if convicted.
That outcome, however, is a long way off and not entirely likely in any event. County prosecutors have not yet filed official charges against Brun, and the vast majority of felony cases, even those involving allegations of assault against a police officer, get resolved via a plea bargain that reduces the count to a lesser, non-felony offense.
The county clerk’s office also issued a statement on Wednesday regarding Brun. It said, “The council is currently awaiting further information in regards to the facts surrounding the arrest. Any action to remove Councilmember Brun from his seat as a Councilmember will need to follow the process outlined in Kauai County Charter.”
This was not Brun’s first problem with the law.
He was arrested in 2002 for theft and computer fraud and again the following year for possession of drug paraphernalia, family member abuse, assault, terroristic threatening and resisting arrest.
He pleaded guilty to one felony count, second-degree theft, and two misdemeanors in a plea deal that resolved both cases. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail, probation, and ordered to pay $14,000 in restitution. He was cited in 2017 for delinquent vehicle tax, no current safety check and an obstructed license plate.
Brun did not respond to requests for comment.
Caleb Loehrer, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.