HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Once a powerful crime fighter, deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha could now be in danger of being sent to jail while she awaits multiple trials relating to public corruption.
The reason: Authorities suspect that after she was indicted, she tampered with witnesses and that could get her bond revoked.
On Thursday, an attorney connected to the case — Christopher Woo — was back at the federal courthouse. He spent two hours in the grand jury room.
Woo has recently been a focal point in the federal case against Katherine Kealoha and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha.
Last year, Woo represented firefighter Jesse Ebersole, who later pleaded guilty to lying to the grand jury about his affair with Mrs. Kealoha, saying she even coached him on what to say.
Ken Lawson, of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, says Kealoha has a history of trying to "convince people to obstruct justice."
Lawson points out two examples that have been listed in court documents: Ebersole's case and the case involving Ransen Taito, who also admitted to lying to the grand jury saying it was at the urging and coaching of Mrs. Kealoha.
Weeks ago, in June, Woo showed up late for grand jury proceedings. We saw the jurors had already left for the day. Woo was later arrested for failing to appear.
Then in July, after the FBI told Woo to bring his cell phone and laptop to the grand jury, he reported them stolen.
Woo's appearance this past week gives legal experts the impression that federal authorities are looking into Katherine Kealoha's contact with witnesses recently, especially after the Kealohas were indicted on multiple counts relating to public corruption and theft.
Both are out on bond awaiting trial.
Attorney Michael Green, who represents Ransen Taito, said contact with witnesses before indictment is one thing but working behind the scenes after being charged is very serious.
"They're going to give her cosmetics, a toothbrush and an orange suit at the FDC (federal detention center)," said Green, who believes the feds will move to have bond revoked.
"When there's a pending case, you don't mess with witnesses and you don't obstruct justice," said Lawson. "The only question is, what's going to stop you from tampering with witnesses? And the only answer is jail."