FBI raids second city building in police chief investigation

Police Chief Louis Kealoha and wife, Katherine (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Police Chief Louis Kealoha and wife, Katherine (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The FBI raided another county building late last week as part of its public corruption case against Honolulu's police chief and his deputy prosecutor wife, Hawaii News Now has learned.

FBI agents had a search warrant for images and documents connected to Police Chief Louis Kealoha stored in the Frank Fasi Municipal Building, where the back-up server for the Honolulu Police Department is kept, sources say.  All electronic files and emails are stored on that server.

On Friday, the FBI also raided the Honolulu Prosecutor's Office for the files of Katherine Kealoha, a deputy city prosecutor.

Also last week, city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro was called before the federal grand jury investigating the couple. Kaneshiro was ordered to hand over laptop computers, Hawaii News Now has learned.

Attorney Victor Bakke called the raids "unprecedented" in Hawaii.

"In 25 years I haven't seen anything like this," he said.

Bakke said federal judges do not often approve search warrants on city offices, which leads him to believe more witnesses are coming forward and providing the U.S. Attorney with information.

"To have a warrant, a search warrant, it has to be targeted. You have to tell the judge what you're looking for, why you're looking for it and where you expect to find it," Bakke said.

The fact that the FBI went after the servers, meanwhile, indicates to him that they were worried about the files being deleted or tampered with.

"There's at least a few other officers involved," he said. "(They) were probably instructed at some point by the chief or by Kathy to delete information.  and if they did that would be the obstruction."

Former HPD officer Niall Silva has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct and five other co conspirators have been identified.

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