HONOLULU (KHON2) — The scathing evaluation of Honolulu Police Department (HPD) Chief Susan Ballard shows the commission wants dramatic improvements or she could be fired.
That is according to a former commissioner, who calls it the best evaluation he has seen.
Former commissioner Steven Levinson commends the commission for doing such a thorough job on the evaluation. He adds that the information in it would have to be confirmed by multiple sources.
The Honolulu Police Commission says Ballard fell below expectations in leadership and management, two critical areas in leading HPD. They added that “Chief Ballard has a tendency to be dismissive… did not accept constructive criticism and within the department, berated others in front of their peers.”
The commission gave Ballard 60 days to make improvements starting on Thursday, April 15, and she will then get another evaluation. Levinson calls it an unveiled threat to improve dramatically.
“Or we are going to exercise our prerogative to terminate you,” said Levinson.
He adds that the criticism Ballard received would have come from different people who are credible and the chief would have been asked about them.
“The commission would not have relied merely on a single source. There would have been multiple sources in order for the commission to be willing to commit itself,” said Levinson.
A former HPD officer who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the City says she expected this to happen.
“She was very vindictive. So if you opposed her, she didn’t just disagree with you, she went after you. And that’s actually what the basis of my case was,” said Dee Ann Koanui.
She says Ballard retaliated against her and her friends in HPD.
“So she doesn’t just go after you, she goes after your circle, and that’s exactly what’s happening right now,” said Koanui.
Ballard was not available for comment. She released a statement on Wednesday, April 7, saying, “I don’t believe that this evaluation conveys the views of most officers and professional staff… While I am disappointed, I always say that there is room for improvement and will assess what is the best way to move forward.”