Mayor, other leaders react to arrests of ex-police chief, wife - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mayor, other leaders react to arrests of ex-police chief, wife

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Here's a look at how city leaders and others have responded to the arrests of ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, a deputy city prosecutor.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell

“The FBI investigation has reached the highest levels in the Honolulu Police Department and Prosecutor’s Office, and this shows that no one is above the law. Oahu residents deserve to know what happened and expect justice to be served. I thank the men and women of our police force who have continued to do their jobs every day with professionalism and without hesitation.

"Throughout this investigation I believe the department has been managed well under Acting Police Chief Cary Okimoto and his team at HPD. Honolulu remains one of the safest large cities in the entire country and that won’t change with these arrests.”

Honolulu Police Commission

"It is the commission's understanding that the federal grand jury has decided that there is enough evidence of criminal conduct occurring at HPD under the leadership of Chief Kealoha to return an indictment.

"We at the police commission respect the decisions that the grand jury has made and leave the question of whether crimes were committed to the criminal justice system.

"We at the police commission will focus on the future, on selecting a new chief, and on supporting the men and women of HPD as best we can."

Former City Council Chairman Ernie Martin

"These are very serious allegations against public servants responsible for keeping our community safe. It's a dark chapter in HPD's history but let the judicial process play out before we pass too much judgement.

"And remember, the majority of HPD's nearly 2,000 sworn officers put that uniform on and work hard every day to help make Honolulu one of the safest major cities in America and these indictments do not, in any way, reflect the hard work they do for our community." 

Alana Robinson, acting U.S. Attorney (excerpts)

"The 20-count indictment describes a complex web of fraud, deception and obstruction by a husband and wife team so desperate to fund their lifestyle and maintain their self-professed status as Honolulu's 'power couple' that they swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from banks, credit unions and some of the most vulnerable members of the community, including a disabled uncle, a 98-year-old grandmother and 2 minor children who were under Katherine Kealoha's guardianship.

"The Kealohas used the stolen money to pay for a variety of personal expenses, including their mortgage and tens of thousands of dollars in bank loans, car payments for a Maserati and a Mercedes Benz, Elton John concert tickets, travel expenses restaurant trips, even a trip to Disneyland. Donations to charity, as well as a $26,000 brunch tab at the Sheraton Waikiki to celebrate Louis Kealoha's induction as the police chief in 2009.

"The most troubling aspect of this case is the way these powerful defendants allegedly manipulated the justice system for their own purposes. When family members became concerned about their investments, the Kealohas used their considerable power and influence as public officials to launch a secret campaign to cover-up their financial crimes and to discredit their victims with the help of a few friends from the department's elite Criminal Intelligence Unit.

"As laid out in the indictment, they accused an uncle of stealing a mailbox in search of bank records statements related to their financial dispute.  In reality, the Kealohas and a handful of Criminal Intelligence Unit officers staged the mailbox theft, they selectively edited video surveillance they falsely identified the uncle as the culprit captured in the video, they falsified police reports, they withheld or failed to investigate critical evidence, they unlawfully conducted surveillance and searches, planted evidence, and lied to federal prosecutors and investigators in order to frame the uncle for the crime.

"Katherine Kealoha even accused her uncle of committing elder abuse and fraud against his own mother - her grandmother! And she tried to have her grandmother declared incompetent."

"The indictment alleges that instead of using their powers to seek justice, and uphold the rule of law, they did everything they possible could to undermine it.

"In the process they cast a shadow over the overwhelming majority of Honolulu police officers who put their lives on the line to keep the community safe and preserve the constitutional rights of the citizens of this beautiful city. No one, not a police chief, not a prosecutor is above the law.

"Today is an new beginning.  It is our hope and our belief that today's charges will ultimately deliver justice to those who betrayed their badges and bolstered the reputation of a department that has suffered because of the actions of a corrupt few." 

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