By: Rick Blangiardi
A local jury spent less than a day before deciding that Kathy Kealoha, a deputy city prosecutor and wife of the police chief, was to be awarded nearly $660 thousand dollars in punitive damages, mental anguish fees and attorney costs in a case against her grandmother and uncle.
All of the damages were assessed against the uncle, Gerard Puana, whom the jury found had made intentional misrepresentations and abused the legal process.
The grandmother, Florence Puana, had sued Kealoha over money from a reverse mortage on the grandmother's home. Chief Louis Kealoha was not part of the lawsuit but the civil case spilled over into a federal criminal case in which the Kealohas claimed the uncle stole their mailbox. That case ended in a mistrial when Kealoha testified about Puana's criminal history.
The FBI is still investigating the circumstances of how HPD handled the mailbox case but it would be surprising if that case went anywhere.
All of this has distracted the HPD and to a lesser extent, the city prosecutor's office, from doing what they are charged to do, investigating and prosecuting crime. Now that the messy family dispute between the Kealoha's and Puana's is over, we can get back to the business of law enforcement.