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Court denies police officer’s motion to dismiss DUI, other charges

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SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo has denied Department of Public Safety Police Officer Dixon Kwon’s motion to dismiss the driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges filed against him.

Judge Govendo heard the motion to dismiss on Nov. 29, 2019 and issued his decision on Wednesday.

In his order, the judge said DPS acted in bad faith when its Internal Affairs officers lost the case files and audio recordings.

However, the judge added, “Kwon can obtain comparable evidence by other reasonably available means.”

Attorney Charity Hodson, who represents Kwon, filed a motion to dismiss the charges, saying that she had not received the DPS documents the defense requested from the government.

She said the documents are “exculpatory materials” to the defense — they have a potential to exonerate Kwon of wrongdoing.

Hodson said if the government could not produce the materials requested, the defense would be forced to go to trial without evidence that could help her client.

“These are grounds for dismissal,” she added.

Kwon’s brother, Police Sgt. Norris Kwon, filed a misconduct complaint with DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero after Dixon Kwon was arrested.

Sgt. Kwon alleged that procedures were not followed during Dixon Kwon’s arrest.

In Oct. 2017, the investigation of the police misconduct complaint concluded when Officer Dixon Kwon was reinstated to work at DPS after a three-day suspension for being involved in an auto crash. DPS found that one of its officers did not advise Dixon Kwon of his constitutional rights at the time of his arrest. DPS Internal Affairs said its other findings were favorable to Dixon Kwon.

However, the interview notes and the audio recording device used by Internal Affairs can no longer be found. These are among the documents and materials that Hodson requested from the Attorney General’s Office.

The AG’s office told Hodson that the documents could have been “lost” when DPS’ internal investigation division office relocated from Capital Hill to the DPS main office in Susupe.

The case was initially handled by Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho who vacated a bench trial scheduled for July 20, 2018 because of the missing documents.

The AG’s office charged Dixon Kwon with driving under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more; reckless driving causing bodily injury; two counts of fleeing the scene of an accident; and two counts of failure to have motor vehicle liability insurance while operating a vehicle on a public highway.

According to the AG’s office, Dixon Kwon on July 22, 2017 operated a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property which caused bodily injury to a person. He then fled the scene of the accident after driving his vehicle into a tree causing bodily injury to his passenger, and he also failed to provide reasonable assistance to an injured person, the AG’s office added.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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