Guy Paul, former police chief, dies at 85

  • PAUL

Guy Anthony Paul, former Hawaii County police chief, died March 18 at Hale Anuenue in Hilo after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 85.

The Honolulu-born Paul retired in 1988 after a three-decade career in the department, including a dozen years as chief and six as deputy chief. He was the son Anthony Paul, the longest-serving Hawaii County police chief, who was top cop for more than two decades from the 1940s to the late 1960s.

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As chief, Paul presided over construction of the current police headquarters in Hilo and coordinated with the University of Hawaii at Hilo on a program for police officers to earn a college degree. He also worked with the state Legislature and Department of Transportation to develop the northern section of Komohana Street, providing a crosstown route between Waianuenue Avenue and Puainako Street, and a more efficient thoroughfare for emergency vehicles.

Paul, a Catholic, was a graduate of St. Joseph’s School, where he met his wife of 63 years, Helen. He was president of the school’s Parent-Teachers Guild for many years, and he and his children were caretakers of the shower trees above the elementary school campus, according to his family.

“He was a perfect gentleman,” Helen Ann Paul said. “He was entirely honest, kind and always did everything right. I honestly don’t know another person who could have been as good a person as he was.”

Paul’s tenure as chief wasn’t without controversy.

In 1999, a Hilo Circuit Court jury found the county, former Chief Wayne Carvalho — who succeeded Paul — and Carvalho’s Deputy Chief Francis De Morales liable for a scheme to rig promotions between 1984 and 1994. In 1999, the jury awarded $4.1 million to 19 officers or former officers who filed the civil suit two years earlier.

The county later settled for $2 million, but expended nearly $3.5 million in lawyer’s fees defending the lawsuit.

Paul, by then retired, wasn’t a defendant in the suit, which alleged he started a “promotion board” of highly-ranked officers who would question promotion candidates. Before that, Paul selected a person to be promoted from among five candidates provided by the civil service system.

Trial testimony indicated Paul still was legally entitled to promote the candidate of his choice — even after setting up the board.

The plaintiffs alleged Paul told Carvalho, then deputy chief, his preferred candidate. Carvalho, in turn, allegedly passed the information to De Morales, then an inspector — who allegedly rigged the oral portion of the exam process by providing the questions in advance to the preferred candidate.

Paul testified he didn’t order subordinates to rig the exams, but acknowledged he told subordinates his preferred candidates so the subordinates “would not operate in the dark.”

Carvalho denied any role in promotion cheating, and De Morales testified he was following orders from Paul. Both retired years before the suit.

Private services have been held. In lieu of gifts, the family requests memorial donations to a favorite charity in Paul’s name.

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Paul is also survived by sons Gary and Ronald, daughter Gayle and grandson Kirk.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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