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Timeline: Case against Kealohas began with alleged mailbox theft

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Chief Louis Kealoha answered questions at 2014 hearing on domestic violence in Hawaii, and HPD’s response. FBI agents arrested the retired Honolulu police chief and his wife Katherine, a city deputy prosecutor, this morning in connection with a public corruption case tied to an alleged theft of their mailbox in 2013.

Here is a look at the key dates in the case involving retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and deputy city prosecutor Katherine Kealoha:

Nov. 18, 2009

The Honolulu Police Commission takes less than a half-hour to unanimously select Capt. Louis Kealoha as chief from a group of six finalists. After a contentious relationship with the former chief, Boisse Correa, police union officials applaud Kealoha’s selection.

June 22, 2013

Deputy city prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, the chief’s wife, reports to police that the mailbox has been stolen from in front of the family’s Kahala home.

June 29, 2013

Kealoha reports that her uncle Gerard Puana was captured on home surveillance video stealing the mailbox. The Honolulu Police Department turns the completed investigation over to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

June 30, 2013

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service determines the person in the video does appear to be Puana.

July 1, 2013

Federal prosecutors charge Puana with destroying a mailbox, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine.

Feb. 5, 2014

The commission votes to give Kealoha a second five-year term ending Nov. 27, 2019.

Dec. 4, 2014

On the first day of Puana’s trial in U.S. District Court, Chief Louis Kealoha identifies the person in the video as Puana, but causes a mistrial by telling the jury about Puana’s 2011 conviction for unlawfully entering a neighbor’s home. Alexander Silvert, Puana’s defense attorney, accuses Kealoha of purposely causing the mistrial to avert a not-guilty verdict that would have undercut Katherine Kealoha’s standing in a civil case against Puana.

Dec. 17, 2014

Silvert tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he has turned over information about the mailbox theft case to the FBI for investigation. This eventually triggers a federal grand jury query about alleged police misconduct, which leads to an investigation centering on the Kealohas and others.

June 17, 2016

The Kealohas sue the city Ethics Commission, alleging that former Executive Director Chuck Totto and his staff conducted “vindictive, unsubstantiated and illegal investigations” against them.

Dec. 16, 2016

Retired HPD officer Niall Silva pleads guilty to conspiring with other officers and Katherine Kealoha to frame Puana for the theft of the mailbox.

Dec. 20, 2016

Chief Kealoha places himself on voluntary paid leave after the FBI sends him a “target letter” informing him that he is the focus of a criminal investigation. Deputy Chief Cary Okimoto is appointed acting chief.

Jan. 6, 2017

Police Commission Chairman Max Sword announces Kealoha has agreed to retire, ending a 33-year career. No details are released.

Jan. 18, 2017

Sword announces Kealoha will be paid $250,000 in severance, out of HPD funds, in exchange for retiring Feb. 28. The agreement states the money is to be returned if Kealoha is convicted of a felony.

Jan. 27, 2017

Despite objections from acting Chief Okimoto, Kealoha receives his severance payment from HPD funds, according to Sword.

Feb. 28, 2017

Kealoha officially retires from HPD.


FBI agents arrest HPD Officer Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen for alleged conspiracy, obstruction and false statements to a federal officer. Retired HPD Maj. Gordon Shiraishi is also arrested, for alleged obstruction of a federal investigation. They both plead not guilty and are released on bond the following day.


FBI agents arrest HPD Lt. Derek W. Hahn for alleged conspiracy, obstruction and making false statements to a federal officer. He pleads not guilty and is released on bond.


After nearly two years of investigating the Kealohas, the federal grand jury in Honolulu ends its term. No indictments are announced.


Louis and Katherine Kealoha are arrested at home by FBI agents early in the morning. They are charged with conspiracy, obstruction, making false statements to a federal officer and bank fraud. Katherine Kealoha is also charged with aggravated identity theft. The Kealohas appear in federal court in Honolulu, plead not guilty and are released on $100,000 signature bonds each. Katherine Kealoha is placed on unpaid leave by the city prosecutor’s office. FBI agents also arrest Sgt. Daniel Sellers, who pleads not guilty to obstruction and making false statements to a federal officer. He is released on $50,000 bond.

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