2 Police Commission members resign posts
Two Honolulu Police Commission members have resigned, citing personal reasons -- and warning that more commissioners might leave soon.
Co-chairwoman Cha Thompson and commission member Jimmy Borges resigned last week effective in the first week of June. Thompson was serving her third five-year term, while Borges was serving his first term.
"I don't have any comment on it. It's a personal matter," said Borges, whose term was set to expire at the end of the year. "It's a possibility there will be more resignations, but I really can't speak for anyone else besides Cha and myself."
Thompson could not be reached for comment. Commission Co-chairman Boyd Andrade said he understands that Thompson left because of her "business in China." Thompson is vice president of Tihati Productions, a Polynesian-themed entertainment company that performs locally and internationally.
"That's all I know," he said. "Otherwise, I think you'll have to talk to the mayor's office."
Bill Brennan, Mayor Mufi Hannemann's spokesman, said the mayor was aware of Thompson's resignation but did not know about Borges'. Both of them have been supporters over the years, and he wishes them well, Brennan said.
But sources who spoke to the Star-Bulletin on the condition of anonymity said Thompson and Borges, Commissioner Caroll Takahashi and Commissioner Paul Leong were not willing to go along with some of the changes that were being suggested by new members, including Andrade, who was appointed by Hannemann.
Brennan said Thompson told him she was leaving to pursue her business, and he takes that "at face value."
Officials for the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers said the resignations caught them by surprise.
"We don't know why they're leaving," said SHOPO Oahu Chairman Alex Garcia. "And without adding any speculation to it, we thank them for the service they provided the city. We wish them the best and look forward to working with the new commissioners."
Other Hannemann appointees in the seven-member commission include Benjamin Saguibo and Mark Hunsaker.
The Police Commission was created in 1932. It is responsible for reviewing rules and regulations for the administration of the department and reviewing the annual budget prepared by the police chief. It also may make recommendations to the mayor and investigate and review allegations from the public regarding the Police Department.
Sources said Hannemann wants to change how the department is run, partly because of recent corruption cases, including a large federal investigation that led to the indictment of officers this year for their alleged involvement in illegal cockfighting and gambling rings.
Borges said despite his reasons for leaving, he was happy to serve the community. "I enjoyed it very, very much, and it was a great way to serve," he said.