The Latest: Ex-Honolulu police chief looks forward to court
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on the arrests of a former Honolulu police chief and his deputy prosecutor wife (all times local):
A former Honolulu police chief says he and his prosecutor wife look forward to defending themselves against federal corruption charges.
Louis Kealoha told reporters after he and his wife, Katherine Kealoha, appeared in court Friday that they appreciate the community’s support and “look forward to their day in court.”
The Kealohas were released on $100,000 bond each and left the courtroom holding hands. They hugged and greeted supporters outside.
Katherine Kealoha is on leave from her deputy city prosecutor job pending the outcome of the case.
Authorities say the couple used their positions to bilk clients and relatives out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund their lavish and overextended lifestyle and then used their power to target anyone who threatened them.
The former police chief in Honolulu and his wife, a city prosecutor, have pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi on Friday released Louis and Katherine Keahola on $100,000 bond each. They entered the pleas Friday after a federal grand jury indicted both of them in a public corruption case.
Authorities claim the couple used their positions to bilk clients and relatives out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund their lavish and overextended lifestyle and then used their power to target anyone who threatened them.
The Honolulu Police Commission says it will leave the question of whether crimes were committed by the former police chief, his wife and current and former officers to the criminal justice system.
The commission said in a statement Friday it’s focusing on the future, selecting a new chief and on supporting the men and women of the police department.
The statement came after a federal grand jury indicted former chief Louis Kealoha, his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine Kealoha and current and former officers.
The indictment alleges the defendants conspired to frame Katherine Kealoha’s uncle to discredit him in a family financial dispute.
A federal indictment alleges that a former Honolulu police chief, his deputy prosecutor wife and current and former officers conspired to frame a man to discredit him in a family financial dispute.
The indictment against Louis and Katherine Kealoha says she misused money entrusted to her as a lawyer, including funds belonging to two children and to her 98-year-old grandmother.
Katherine Kealoha allegedly used the money on mortgage payments, Maserati car payments, Elton John tickets and private school tuition for the couple’s daughter.
The indictment unsealed Friday says the Kealohas used their authority as public officials to hide their “precarious financial condition.”
It says the former chief and other officers allegedly misused resources to discredit and intimidate Katherine Kealoha’s uncle. The couple accused him of stealing their home mailbox, but his charges were later dismissed.
A former Honolulu police chief who retired amid a federal investigation into department-wide corruption has been indicted and arrested.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat says Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a deputy prosecutor, surrendered to federal authorities outside their home Friday.
An FBI investigation started after the couple accused her uncle of stealing a mailbox from their home in an upscale neighborhood.
The uncle, Gerard Puana, went to trial for the theft but the case abruptly ended in a mistrial and charges were dismissed. Puana’s federal defender Alexander Silvert accused the Kealohas of framing his client to discredit him in a family financial dispute.
Silvert raised accusations including that police falsified reports and used a special unit to monitor Puana illegally. The attorney took those accusations to the FBI.