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    FBI investigating Kauai (Hawaii) Police for possible corruption and cover-ups

    The FBI is investigating the Kauai Police Department, KITV has learned. Local politicians said they welcome the investigation because the department has faced numerous allegations of corruption, cover-ups and favoritism.
    Despite having many hardworking and honest officers, Kauai politicians and even the police union agree that confidence in the Kauai Police Department has never been lower. Many residents believe certain drug dealers operate without fear of arrest.
    "I think right now the people are very concerned on Kauai because of the multitude of charges and counter charges and allegations," Kauai Sen. Gary Hooser said.
    The FBI is apparently particularly interested in charges raised in a lawsuit by decorated officer, Darla Abbatiello. She said the department ignored a drug-dealer's bribe of an officer. She also said that the same officer was allowed to harass and threaten her and that she was demoted for complaining about it.
    There are also complaints of civil rights violations by vice officers against innocent civilians.
    The new police chief, K.C. Lum, who was promoted from the vice division, is also under fire. He's been accused of favoritism, lax management and his selection as chief has been tainted by ethics allegations.
    "The department is not being led properly or else we would not have these problems in my opinion," Hooser said.
    A source familiar with the FBI investigation said it is in a very early stage and that no particular target has been identified. It could take several months before authorities decide whether to bring federal charges.
    Hooser and other Kauai politicians said they are happy the FBI is investigating.
    "We need to sweep it clean, and again, restore faith and confidence in the department," he said.
    Lum did not respond to KITV's request for comment. His supporters have said he is the victim of a power struggle and is being falsely accused by people who want him out.

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