Kealoha's HPD tenure marked by highs, lows - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kealoha's HPD tenure marked by highs, lows

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

During his seven-year tenure as Honolulu's top cop, Chief Louis Kealoha's tenure has been marked by both positive reviews and a fair amount of controversy.

Kealoha resigned Friday under pressure from the Honolulu Police Commission.

He was sworn in on November 25, 2009 as the 10th chief at HPD. And initially, he garnered positive feedback.

"Professionally-speaking and, again, to some extent personally, Chief Kealoha has been really great for the officers," said Tenari Maafala, president of the police union.

But Kealoha's early years were also marred by controversy, including with the indictment by a federal grand jury of Maj. Carlton Nishimura on charges of extortion and making false statements to the FBI.

Then in September 2014, HPD generated more negative headlines: Sgt. Darren Cachola, a 19-year HPD veteran, was caught on surveillance video fighting with his girlfriend at a Waipahu restaurant. Cachola was later fired. And Officer Vince Morre attacked two people in a game room. Morre was also eventually fired and sentenced to 30 months in jail.

Last year, another Kealoha controversy erupted when the department reported a backlog of sex assault rape kits to the police commission. What HPD brass didn't tell the commission was that over the years, hundreds of rape kits had been thrown away.

Loretta Sheehan, a member of the Honolulu Police Commission, said at the time that the HPD's actions were "disappointing."

"I feel that they were less than candid with the legislature and less than candid with the police commission," she said.

But the controversy that ended Kealoha's tenure was an ongoing public corruption case involving the chief and his wife, a deputy city prosecutor.

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