Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu, whose involvement in a recent hit-and-run accident has come under increased public scrutiny, is planning to retire, according to a department spokesperson.
In November, surveillance video of Faaumu backing his truck into a motorcycle in a shopping center parking lot in Kahului and then driving away was posted online, resulting in widespread calls for an investigation.
No one was injured in the accident, but questions have been raised about whether the chief escaped accountability both for causing the accident and fleeing the scene. It’s estimated that the damage caused to the motorcycle was less than $3,000.
The Maui County Police Commission has been discussing the incident behind closed doors, according to the oversight agency’s meeting agendas.
Police Commission Chairman Frank De Rego Jr. did not return Civil Beat’s requests for an interview.
Faaumu also declined an interview request through a Maui Police Department spokesperson who said the agency would not be releasing any more details about his retirement.
In an interview with the Maui News in November, Faaumu said he did not realize he had hit anything on Nov. 7 when he backed his truck into a motorcycle at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.
“If I knew I did back up into the motorcycle and caused damage, I would stop,” he said. “But I didn’t.”
He told the newspaper that before the surveillance video went public he had received an anonymous letter saying that if he didn’t retire by the end of the year that the video would be sent to the mayor, the Maui County Council, the police commission, the state police union and the press.
He said he guessed the letter, which was typewritten and sent through the mail with no return address, had come from someone within the department.
“As the chief you make decisions, you discipline people and some people are not happy,” Faaumu said.
Faaumu started working for MPD in 1985. He was named chief in 2014.
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