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Feds subpoena acting city prosecuting attorney Dwight Nadamoto

  • Video by Diane S. W. Lee / dlee@staradvertiser.com

    Acting city prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto addresses a federal investigation into the prosecutor's office.

  • KAT WADE / Special to the Star Advertiser
                                Acting city prosecuting attorney Dwight Nadamoto confirms today that he received a federal subpoena. Nadamoto was speaking at a news conference at the city’s Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

    KAT WADE / Special to the Star Advertiser

    Acting city prosecuting attorney Dwight Nadamoto confirms today that he received a federal subpoena. Nadamoto was speaking at a news conference at the city’s Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

UPDATE: 2:15 p.m.

Honolulu Acting Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto confirmed today that he received a subpoena from federal officials this week requesting that he appear at a court proceeding.

Nadamoto declined to give specifics during a news conference this afternoon, including why he is being asked to appear, but said “I embrace the opportunity given to me by the federal government to assist them in any way I can to help in this investigation.”

He said he is “glad to help” the investigation and that he is not stepping down.

Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro, who has been on voluntary paid leave since earlier this year, received a target letter implying that he is under investigation for wrongdoing. The query is believed to stem from the broader investigation by U.S. attorneys that led to the convictions of former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, former city Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.

Nadamoto, who was Kaneshiro’s chief deputy when he was named acting prosecutor after his boss’ departure, noted today that “dozens of people” have received subpoenas in the past year as federal investigators probe the prosecutor’s office in the wake of the Kealoha scandal, but he had not been subpoenaed until this week.

“I suspect it’s because the federal government knows I have done nothing wrong and that I could not assist them or provide any insights to them,” he said. “However, as acting prosecuting attorney, they have asked for my help — I am glad to help them. I’m more than happy to answer any questions they have. There is nothing more important to me and the people of this office than that we be honest and hard-working and transparent.”

U.S attorneys are in the midst of two investigations into wrongdoing by officials with the City and County of Honolulu.

The other investigation involves possible wrongdoing at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

UPDATE: 1:50 p.m.

Acting city prosecuting attorney Dwight Nadamoto said he has received a subpoena regarding a federal investigation into the prosecutor’s office.

He said he is “glad to help” the investigation and that he is not stepping down.

He said the FBI delivered the subpoena earlier this week.

He did not specify the subject of the investigation. However, Nadamoto said, that since the investigation into former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha began “dozens” of people have been called to testify.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Acting city prosecuting attorney Dwight Nadamoto has scheduled a news conference this afternoon to make remarks “related to a federal investigation,” his office said.

Embattled prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro announced last March that he was taking a paid leave of absence and that deputy prosecutor Nadamoto would become acting prosecuting attorney.

Kaneshiro had previously refused calls to step aside despite receiving a “target letter” from federal prosecutors in December informing him that he was a target of a grand jury investigation tied to the corruption case against former city deputy Katherine Kealoha and her her husband, retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha.

State Attorney General Clare Connors on Feb. 12 asked the Hawaii Supreme Court today to immediately suspend Kaneshiro from practicing law because he was the target of a federal investigation.

Connors’ office filed a “Petition for Extraordinary Writ” stating that Kaneshiro’s “purported status as a target of a federal criminal investigation related to his conduct as the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney creates a ‘concurrent conflict of interest’ that requires immediate resolution.”

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