Two employees from the Maui County Department of Motor Vehicles were arrested on the morning of Feb. 2 at the Molokai Satellite Office.
The two DMV office clerks at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center — Renee Montizor and Shawna Lopez — were placed under arrest for theft investigation, according to Maui County Police Sergeant Randy Esperanza. They were released pending an internal investigation by the Maui County Department of Finance, which oversees the DMV operations.
Maui County Motor Vehicle and Licensing Administrator Lito Vila, the immediate supervisor of the two employees, would not comment when contacted this morning.
“I’m not able to provide comment while this is under investigation,” said Vila by phone. “We will cooperate with authorities during this investigation.”
Vila was uncertain how long it will take to complete the investigation. During this process, office operations will be conducted by veteran DMV employees from Maui. As a result, the DMV cut its hours back to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8-11:45 a.m. and 1:15-4 p.m. Previously, the office was open five days a week.
“We appreciate the Molokai community’s patience,” said Vila. “We are doing our best to continue to provide services to the community.”
However, when the DMV was visited on March 1, customers were complaining about two hour waits. The chairs inside the office were full and customers were waiting outside to take their turn.
Vila said many of the delays experienced on Molokai are also occurring statewide as a result of the new legal requirements of the Real ID Act. Compliance with new legislation under this act requires the DMV to verify an individual’s legal presence in the U.S. The end of the month rush may be another reason for the delays, said Vila.
Chairman of the Maui County Council Danny Mateo, Molokai’s representative on the council, also declined comment on this case when contacted on Molokai today. Mateo said he would comment once the investigation is complete.
The two employees are now on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed.