Honolulu police officers volunteered to testify in Kealoha case
Lower-ranking police officers asked to be subpoenaed for the Honolulu Ethics Commission’s investigation into then- Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his then- deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine Kealoha, according to documents the Kealohas recently disclosed in their upcoming federal conspiracy and obstruction trial.
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officers asked to be
subpoenaed for the Honolulu Ethics Commission’s
investigation into then-
Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his then-
deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine Kealoha, according to documents the
Kealohas recently disclosed in their upcoming federal
conspiracy and obstruction trial.
The Kealohas and four former members of the
Honolulu Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit are scheduled
to stand trial in March
on charges of framing a
Kealoha relative for stealing the Kealohas’ mailbox and of lying to cover up their
Gordon Shiraishi, who was the CIU captain when the Kealohas reported
their mailbox had been
stolen, and the Kealohas are asking the court to
prohibit the government from using statements the three made to the Ethics Commission in the upcoming trial. The trial is the
culmination of lengthy
FBI and federal grand jury investigations. The commission initiated its own investigation after the
Kealohas identified a relative as the person who
stole their mailbox.
In support of their request, the Kealohas filed documents they received from the government for their defense, which are otherwise not publicly available. They filed the documents under seal earlier this month and asked U.S. District Chief Judge
J. Michael Seabright to
approve the sealing. Seabright denied the request and unsealed the
One document is an FBI memorandum recapping
a March 28 interview of former Honolulu Ethics Commission Executive Director and Legal Counsel Charles Totto. According to the memorandum, Totto said the commission did issue administrative subpoenas to compel statements from the HPD officers who asked to be subpoenaed. Totto doesn’t identify the officers or describe their statements.
Totto told the FBI that other HPD officers who
did not respond to requests to be interviewed suffered no repercussions, and that the commission later removed him and investigator Letha DeCaires from the case and referred it to the FBI.
A private law firm hired by the city to represent the Ethics Commission said in state court records last month that investigations of the Kealohas remain open.
Totto and DeCaires are no longer employed by the Ethics Commission. However, they are still prohibited from talking about open investigations.
The government is asking Seabright to allow them
to use the statements
Shiraishi and the Kealohas made to the Ethics Commission because the statements were given freely
and not under threat of
termination from their city jobs, as the three defendants claim.
The Kealohas, through their civil lawyer, even refused to answer the Ethics Commission’s questions, the government says.
And according to Totto,
Shiraishi showed up at the Ethics Commission without having to be subpoenaed and chose to answer questions without legal representation.