Kauai police lawsuit is settled
A former officer had accused the chief of hindering a case
LIHUE » A former Kauai police officer who sued his boss, alleging the then-police chief of hindering a sexual assault investigation, settled his suit out of court for $120,000 in November.
The settlement only came to light this week after a published report in the Garden Island. Attorneys for the county and the ex-officer say they kept the settlement out of the news media because a previous article nearly scuttled the deal.
In 2002, former Kauai Police Department Lt. Alvin Seto sued then-Police Chief George Freitas for allegedly hindering the prosecution of a fellow police officer, charged with molestation of his stepdaughter.
The lawsuit followed an acquittal of the officer and the dismissal of a Police Commission case against Freitas. The suit spawned subsequent lawsuits by Freitas and his secretary, Jacquelyn Tokashiki, whom Freitas fired.
Tokashiki's lawsuit, alleging discrimination for testifying against Freitas in the Police Commission case, is awaiting a decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Both Freitas and Seto have since retired from KPD.
Lawyers for both sides expressed relief this week that the Seto case was over.
The county's hired attorney, David Minkin, said the settlement was paid by the county's insurer and that "at the end of the day, I doubt Alvin Seto got anything other than reimbursement of fees paid to his attorney."
Plaintiff's attorney Clayton Ikei, however, said Seto received a "substantial amount" and that his client, now a security supervisor at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, is quite happy away from the KPD.
Seto originally had asked for reinstatement to KPD as part of the lawsuit. He claimed he was forced to leave the job after 22 years, but he has a better package as a federal employee, Ikei said.