One of Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro’s top deputies who has been linked to a federal investigation of government corruption is taking a leave of absence effective immediately, according to a statement sent by his attorney today.
“I have decided, based on my own personal beliefs, to take a leave of absence from my position as the first deputy prosecuting attorney for the City and County of Honolulu,” the statement attributed to Chasid Sapolu said. “I wholeheartedly believe that the system I am dedicated to serving will reveal that I have done nothing wrong. I believe in the very important mission of the prosecutor’s office. Nothing should ever stand in the way of protecting our community and compassionately serving victims through fair and honest prosecution.”
Sapolu along with another top deputy prosecutor, Janice Futa, received what are called subject letters, meaning investigators suspect they engaged in misconduct but need to do more investigation.
Kaneshiro received a stronger letter, saying he is a target of the investigation.
“I received a subject letter and, even though I am not a target of a federal investigation, as a dedicated public servant, my intent is to cooperate with any law enforcement investigation,” Sapolu’s statement said. “I do not make this decision lightly as it has a significant impact on my family. I continue to believe in the hard work of the employees of our office who passionately protect public safety and look forward to returning when these matters are resolved.”
Sapolu’s statement is the first instance in which one of the three acknowledged receiving a letter. Kaneshiro and Futa have issued no public statements.
The investigation already has resulted in the indictment of former Police Chief Louis Kealoha, his wife, former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, and several former and current police officers.
Sapolu’s statement was sent by his attorney, Randall K. Hironaka.