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Chief defends major’s promotion, domestic violence past

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / SEPT. 15, 2011

    In this 2011 photo, then-Capt. Ryan Borges talks about co-worker and friend Honolulu Police Officer Eric Fontes who died in accident along Farrington Highway.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha defended the promotion of a major who was arrested in 1994 for domestic violence after a lawmaker complained the selection is bad for the department’s image.

Kealoha said Thursday he’s confident Maj. Ryan Borges will be an excellent assistant chief. Borges “has been honest and open about his past,” Kealoha said in a statement. “We’ve all made mistakes in our lives, but what’s important is what we do afterwards.”

Honolulu prosecutor spokesman Dave Koga said the case file has been destroyed because of its age. He didn’t have details beyond it being a domestic violence case. Borges pleaded guilty to second-degree terroristic threatening and received probation, Koga said.

According to court records, Borges and Laura Donaldean Borges divorced in 2001. Reached by phone, she declined to comment on the domestic violence case. “I’m really proud of Ryan,” she said when asked about his promotion.

The promotion sends the wrong message about how the department views domestic violence, said state Sen. Will Espero, vice chair of the public safety committee and vice president of the Senate. He recalled that in 2014, female lawmakers were upset with the department’s reaction to the case of a sergeant caught on surveillance video fighting with his girlfriend.

“One would think that the chief and the leadership would make some decisions that would … uplift its image,” he said. “Were there other qualified candidates that could have been promoted?”

Espero is also concerned about a 2014 case involving a temporary restraining order issued against Borges. Allegations of threats were brought by the former boyfriend of Borges’ daughter, which were dismissed in court, said Borges’ attorney for the case, Richard Wurdeman.

“It was completely unfounded,” Wurdeman said.

While Wurdeman didn’t represent Borges for the 1994 case, he noted that Borges later received a gubernatorial pardon. “He’s been pardoned,” Wurdeman said. “He doesn’t have a conviction.”

The promotion is deserved, Wurdeman said, calling Borges a “highly qualified person to serve as assistant chief.” He said Espero’s attack on his past is “unbecoming of a state senator.”

Borges couldn’t be reached for comment.

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  • “Bad for the Department’s image?” What image? Whenever I think about the HPD I have an image of coverups, padding overtime and a strong Union to protect wrongdoing.

  • Curious to know why Kealoha still has his police powers. Shouldn’t it be restricted? Isn’t there an ongoing FBI investigation involving him? Where’s the Police Commission?

    • Exactly. Is the FBI reluctant to charge Kealoha because it would damage HPD cooperation in Federal criminal investigations? Worried that politics is involved. This is taking too long. The FBI, chief, and HPD will have asterisks next to their names.

      • Nah, cops don’t like Feds anyway. They don’t give them the time of day if they don’t have to. Loui and his staff don’t belong to SHOPO, they are HGEA. Line guys don’t like Loui because they feel his guys are out to get them, like the general public same piece of s…. line guys just got To do their time, lay low, retire and collect. Keep your old notebooks, full of names police, general public, Federal agents… lawyers and reminisce….till they can’t hide behind there badges or rank anymore.

    • agree. Kealoha is a total embarrassment to Hawaii. He was a very bad affirmative action pick to be chief. He needs to be fired. Most uniformed officers do not respect him I am told. He is ethically compromised and, frankly, unintelligent.

  • As a victim of a false accusation by my now ex-wife, who the H__L is the self-righteous Will Espero to judge ??? He doesn’t KNOW any details of the supposed DV incident, but is willing to pass judgement ?? Does Rep. Espero KNOW that anybody can get a TRO whether the accusation is true or not ?? Has he EVER seen a pleasant divorce ?? Funny how these self-righteous legislators condemn male violence, but NEVER mention female violence against males !! DV is a much more complicated issue than the Male Hating anti DV organizations portray it. The legal system has virtually no recourse for a falsely accused male and there are more than a few females that know AND use lies to “punish” their boyfriend or husband. In the meantime, the poor police officer arrives at an emotionally charged situation and has to decide who to arrest. Unless there is physical proof, the male is the one that’s gonna be hauled away. Luckily, I took pictures and my daughter testified against her mom, so my innocence was proven. However, the legal system, the prosecutor, the incompetent nurse, did NOTHING to investigate the veracity of my ex’s lies.
    Don’t push this off on Chief Kealoha, he’s not the one who concocted the anti male DV laws.

    • Strongly agreed. None-the-less there also needs to be a lot more accountability for multiple offenders. There are some crazy sociopaths out there that want nothing more in life then to terrorize people. They use techniques like threatening to kill a person children etc…DV is not a joke and should be taken very seriously.

      • Agree all the way! DV is serious, but this Officer should be congratulated on his promotion. This happened 15 years ago. He cleaned up his act and obviously worked hard to get to this point.

      • yes, but our “chief” does not hold his men to a high standard in spite of the huge salaries now made by HPD. Kealoha demonstrates very bad judgement.

  • What happened in 1994 is death and gone. I could see if it happened now. Ryan is a good person and a good HPD officer and I know that he will do a good job. If people want to judge. what about the HPD office that was on video? What about Billy Kenoi who stole money. Did Ryan steal money was his abuse on video? Far as his daughter BF anyone can cry wolf but there is always two sides to a story. We heard the BF what about Ryan’s. Richard Wurderman sum that one up for all of you to read. Don’t judge Ryan just be happy that we have a good HPD assistant chief in office. He doesn’t lie like Kealoha. And I’m sure he doesn’t have to worry about someone stealing his mailbox. He did Kaneohe district well. Just remember we need to keep our eyes and ears on Kealoha, not Borges.

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