Charges were brought against a former Maui officer for issuing three fraudulent citations to two people.
There were three different incidents of false issuing of speeding and parking tickets by the offender in April 2013, July 2013, and February 2014 in Kihei, Maui. When the speeding ticket was issued, it was early morning and the officer wrote the ticket based on the information from the driver’s license that was handed to him by the driver. As for the two parking tickets, there was much confusion. The offender was dealing with the recent sudden suicide death of his brother, which may have impaired his attention to detail.
Client pleaded no contest to the charges brought against him; three counts of false reporting, false swearing, and unsworn falsification to law enforcement authorities, and tampering with a government record. There were three instances of issuing false speeding and parking tickets to two people.
Argument by Defense Attorney David Sereno:
Maui defense attorney David Sereno asked for no jail for his client who had already suffered consequences of losing his job with the police force and deep public humiliation. “He’s been punished in the public eye,” said Sereno.
His client was a police officer for 13 years with no other kinds of incidents like these on his record. These incidents arose “out of the blue”, perhaps from being distracted by his brother’s recent death.
Attorney David Sereno argued that this was not a case of abusing public trust, since his client did not hold a grudge or have any type of animosity toward those who falsely received the parking tickets and speeding ticket. “He wasn’t picking on anybody,” said Sereno. When he falsely issued the speeding ticket, he did not pay attention to see if the Driver’s License photo was of the driver. He simply wrote the ticket from the ID that was provided. “He just wasn’t paying attention,” stated Sereno.
He had a 60-day jail term suspended and was instead placed on probation for one year and ordered to pay $1,500 in fines. Judge Adrianne Heely also granted to keep twelve misdemeanor convictions off his record after completing his probation successfully. Judge Heely granted deferral of a jail term after considering the slim likelihood of reoffending. The offender had no prior criminal record, had been cooperative and made numerous court appearances. He cooperated with an exam by a court-appointed psychologist, as well.