Using the latest of those vague, ambiguous summaries of all the punishments the Maui Police Department serves on its own that state law requires them to release every few months, The Maui News has determined that Maui PD Officer Nelson Johnson–who was arrested back in November for allegedly abusing two of his young children–has, in fact, been terminated.
State law prohibits the department from naming officers who’ve been sanctioned by Internal Affairs, and the latest summary doesn’t actually include Johnson’s name. But according to this Maui News story from today (subscription required), it does mention an officer who was suspended for two weeks and then terminated for the “commission of a criminal act–abuse of a household/family member” and that was enough for the paper to go ahead and name him.
“But based on the date and charges, the fired officer appears to be Nelson Johnson, who was arrested on charges of second-degree assault and two counts of abuse of a family member occurring Nov. 19 at a Wailuku residence,” The Maui News reported today.
Johnson had been on paid administrative leave. He’s pleaded not guilty to the charges of abusing a family member and is case is pending in 2nd Circuit Court.
In April 2011, Johnson also allegedly assaulted MauiTime Publisher Tommy Russo during an altercation in the Wailuku Municipal Parking Lot. A civil case on that incident is still pending in court.
Photo of Nelson Johnson: Maui PD
About Anthony Pignataro
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He started work as MauiTime's Editor in 2003, took a couple years off starting in 2008, then returned to the staff in 2011. He's the author of "Stealing Cars With The Pros," a 2013 collection of his journalism and the Maui novels "Small Island" (2011) and "The Dead Season" (2012)–all of which were published by Event Horizon Press. In 2014, his one-act play "War Stories" won second place in the Maui Fringe Festival.