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HPD officer found not guilty in DUI checkpoint overtime fraud

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 6:12 p.m. HST, May 5, 2011

Honolulu police officer Leighton Kato was found not guilty in state Circuit Court late this afternoon on charges that he falsified a report to allow his supervisor to claim overtime.

After a two-day trial, the jurors deliberated less than an hour before finding Kato, 37, not guilty of tampering with a government record and two counts of being an accomplice to third-degree theft.

Kato is one of seven members of the Honolulu Police Department's traffic unit that conducts DUI roadblocks who is charged with falsifying reports. He was the first to stand trial. Another officer is scheduled for trial next week and four others are scheduled later this month.

A seventh officer pleaded guilty in March and is awaiting sentencing.

HPD reassigned all seven to restricted duty pending the results of an internal investigation.

The City Prosecuting Attorney's office said it dismissed more than 200 DUI cases because of the allegations that the officers falsified reports.

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