Here’s the email the police chief sent to the city about Honolulu’s prosecutor

Here’s the email the police chief sent to the city about Honolulu’s prosecutor
City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro is facing mounting calls to step aside amid a federal corruption probe. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city has released an email that Honolulu’s police chief sent to the acting mayor this week in which she expressed concerns about the city prosecutor — currently the focus of a federal investigation — sitting in on public safety meetings in which confidential information is discussed.

In the brief email, Police Chief Susan Ballard said that she understands Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro is “innocent until proven guilty.”

But, she adds, “in my experience, if you get a target letter, you will be indicted. The sharing of any sensitive information at this point, I believe it is not in the best interest of the police department or the city.”

The email was sent Monday in response to HNN’s reports that Kaneshiro had received a target letter from the U.S. Department of Justice, informing him that he’s under investigation as part an ongoing public corruption probe.

That probe has already led to indictments against ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha, his wife Katherine — a former top deputy prosecutor — and several police officers.

Ballard told Hawaii News Now on Wednesday that she’s also concerned that Kaneshiro’s refusal to step down could be putting cases at risk. Many in the legal community have called for Kaneshiro to place himself on leave during the federal investigation, but others have said there’s no reason for him to step aside.

Kaneshiro has declined to respond to request for comments, though he did tell Hawaii News Now Now earlier this week that he plans to serve out his full term and believes his office is running effectively.

This story will be updated.

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