Commendations & Complaints

Formal Complaints

What is a "Formal Complaint" in comparison to a general complaint?

Formal Complaints are different than general complaints, as they usually involve a more serious nature of allegations of misconduct or criminal violation by Kauai Department of Liquor Control personnel. General complaints can range from discourtesy/unprofessional attitude, or a violation of Department policy. These types of complaints/ concerns can be provided over the phone or in person. All complaints are very important and will be investigated, but each needs to be addressed by administration accordingly.

How do I file a formal complaint?

Formal Complaints are to be made in person at the Kauai Liquor Department or online with supporting documentation attached. Any Supervisor can take a formal complaint. All you have to do is relate the facts of the incident to the Investigator without adding to it or embellishing what happened. You will be treated professionally and courteously. If you file a complaint, you will receive a copy of your complaint as a receipt of record. After the complaint is investigated, you will be advised of the disposition by letter or by phone. The Kauai Department of Liquor Control values the input of the citizens we serve.

What happens after I make a complaint?

All complaints received about staff misconduct will be thoroughly examined by a Supervisor. Complaints of discourtesy or poor service are usually investigated by the Investigator's immediate supervisor and forwarded to the Department Director for review and final recommendation. The complaint is then given one of five dispositions:

  1. No Misconduct Established - There is insufficient evidence to confirm or refute the complaint.
  2. Sustained - The allegation is true and the actions of our employee was inconsistent with the Department's policies and procedures.
  3. Exonerated - The allegation is true and the action of our employee was consistent with the Department's policies and procedures.
  4. Unfounded - The allegation is either false or there is no credible evidence to support it.
  5. Withdrawn - The allegation is withdrawn by the complainant.

All decisions involving disciplinary action will be made by the Department Director. Complaints involving a possible criminal violation are forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office for review.

Is there any risk to me when I make a complaint?

Absolutely not. You will not be subjected to intimidation or any other improper behavior. However, if you intentionally make a false complaint against an officer or employee, you may be prosecuted criminally and/or held civilly liable.

Do Investigators have rights when an allegation is made against them?

Yes they do. Investigators have a right to have counsel or a union steward during the investigation.

To file a Formal Complaint download the form below and provide as much detail possible prior to submitting the form. Once the form has been fully completed, the form may be emailed to to begin the investigation.



If you wish to commend the actions of employees of this department, you may do so by writing a letter to the Director of Liquor Control or emailing

Verbal commendations may also be given to any department supervisor.