|This story has been corrected. See below.|
A grand jury is looking into allegations of civil rights abuses and corruption by the Honolulu Police Department that emerged from a theft case involving the police chief’s mailbox.
Federal public defender Alexander Silvert confirmed the review today. He represented Gerard Puana, a relative of Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his city prosecutor wife who was accused of stealing the mailbox in 2013.
While defending Puana, Silvert says he and his investigators uncovered allegations that police falsified reports and used a special unit to monitor Puana illegally. They took those accusations to the FBI.
The U.S. attorney’s office and FBI won’t confirm or deny the investigation or that a grand jury has convened. A police spokeswoman is checking if the department will comment.
Puana’s case ended in a mistrial in 2014 when the chief gave improper testimony.
Louis Kealoha is currently the chief of the Honolulu Police Department. An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect photo caption.