Trial starts for Honolulu chief's wife family squabble - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Trial starts for Honolulu chief's wife family squabble

Chief Kealoha Chief Kealoha
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The civil trial that exposed a messy family feud involving Honolulu's Police Chief and one of the city's top prosecutors started Tuesday.

Katherine Kealoha, a Honolulu Prosecutor and the wife of Chief Louis Kealoha, is accused of helping her 95-year old grandmother take out a reverse mortgage and then spending the surplus, which was supposed to go to her uncle, Gerard Puana.

"The balance of the funds, roughly $148,000 was used, was spent and cash was withdrawn. The records indicate that Katherine Kealoha made the withdrawals," says Gerald Kurashima, the attorney representing the Puanas.

Mrs. Kealoha's attorney told the jury during opening statements that she did not spend the money, but used it to help her uncle who wasn't making his own mortgage payments or paying the fees on his condo.

"We are very happy to be here because we can finally, finally tell our side of the story," says Kevin Sumida, the attorney for Mrs. Kealoha.

This case took a bizarre turn when the Kealohas accused Gerard Puana, of stealing the mailbox from their Kahala home in June of 2013. They said the figure in the surveillance video from their home was the uncle. But the federal, criminal trial was thrown out after the chief mentioned Puana's criminal past while testifying. Puana's attorney then asked the FBI to investigate the chief and HPD, saying they did not properly handle the case and possibly violated Puana's civil rights.

The civil trial continues Wednesday.

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