Hawaii County Fire Department Battalion Chief Jesse Michael Ebersole pleaded guilty in federal court this afternoon to conspiring with deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha to lie about their affair to a federal grand jury and has agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of Kealoha and her husband, retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha.
Ebersole, 49, faces a maximum five-year prison term for conspiracy. Because federal prosecutors are relying on his cooperation to prosecute the Kealohas, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Beste asked U.S. District Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright to sentence Ebersole in April.
The government claims that Katherine Kealoha spent more than $20,000 on Ebersole during their affair and that some of the money came from a second mortgage the Kealohas secured on their Kahala home by lying on their loan application.
The Kealohas are scheduled to stand trial on bank fraud charges in November.
Prosecutors say some of the rest of the $20,000 was money that Katherine Kealoha stole from her grandmother.
Kealoha is scheduled to stand trial in March on charges that she stole from her grandmother and the trust funds of minor children, for whom she had been appointed a trustee. She, her husband and four former members of the HPD’s elite Criminal Intelligence Unit are also scheduled to stand trial in March on charges accusing them of framing Kealoha’s uncle of stealing the Kealohas’ mailbox then lying about it to investigators.
The Hawaii County Fire Department placed Ebersole on paid leave this week after he was charged in the case.