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Thursday, August 5, 1999



Maui police face 6th
harassment suit

By Gary T. Kubota
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

WAILUKU -- A former Maui police officer has filed a lawsuit against the county, charging sexual harassment.

Diane Lewis is the sixth woman to file a lawsuit against the Maui Police Department, alleging sexual harassment. Of the six, five served as police officers.

Lewis, who now lives in Florida, was a patrol officer for about five years. She alleges that a male supervisor subjected her to numerous incidents of sexual harassment, persistently using offensive language and touching her body.

In her lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu this week, Lewis charged that a police lieutenant also lectured her about how a woman's anatomy was not made for police work.

She also said derogatory messages were left on her answering machine and that her radio transmissions were interrupted by "clicking" sounds.

Lewis said other supervisors were made aware of the harassment but did nothing.

Deputy Police Chief Charles Hall declined to comment until he has seen the lawsuit.

Lewis' attorney, Kevin Yuen, said she worked from Aug. 2, 1993, until September 1998 when she resigned, after deciding "enough was enough."

In the other cases, Stacey Sylos, Joanne Allencastre and Susan McPherson entered into out-of-court settlements individually. A settlement is pending for Malia Chun.

A federal jury rejected Bonnie Burke's sexual harassment lawsuit in June.


Kauai officer faces
prison in extortion

By Anthony Sommer
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

LIHUE -- A Kauai police officer pleaded guilty yesterday to misdemeanor charges of extortion and failure to obtain a permit to transfer a firearm.

In exchange, county prosecutors dropped a felony extortion charge and another misdemeanor charge of failing to register a firearm against Malcome Rodrigues, 27.

He will be sentenced Oct. 12 by Judge George Masuoka and faces up to two years in prison. The judge will decide at that time whether to grant a motion by Rodrigues' attorney, Michael Green, for a deferred acceptance of a no-contest plea, which in effect leaves Rodrigues with no time to serve and no criminal record.

The details of what Rodrigues was charged with remained vague at the Circuit Court hearing. The agreement was struck in a closed-door meeting with Masuoka before the open court session.

In a news release, the Kauai Police Department said Rodrigues was investigating a trespassing complaint on March 12 and ended up in possession of a rifle that belonged to a suspect who was not charged with any crime.

Prosecutor Michael Soong said he couldn't talk about the case until Rodrigues is sentenced. He said the weapon involved, a rifle, was worth only about $100.

Rodrigues, meanwhile, remains on duty although he has been assigned a desk job.

Kauai Police Chief George Freitas said yesterday any department discipline Rodrigues receives awaits the outcome of an internal investigation that has not been completed.



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