After years of legal wrangling, judge dismisses Kealohas' civil suit against city Ethics Commission

Kealohas civil lawsuit against city ethics commission, employees dismissed

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A judge has dismissed a years-long case against the city Ethics Commissions, brought by ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, a former deputy prosecutor.

In 2015, the Kealohas filed a civil lawsuit against the commission, its former Director Chuck Totto and its former investigator Letha Decaires for defamation and abuse of power.

Totto’s attorney, Joaquim Cox, says Totto and Decaires were uncovering some of the same alleged wrongdoings the Kealohas were later charged with at the federal level.

“The lawsuit sought to simply deny the truth and then blame good public servants," Cox said.

According to Cox, the suit has already cost taxpayers more than $500,000 and he urged the couple months ago to drop it.

The Kealohas had repeatedly delayed depositions and questioning under oath for the lawsuit that they initiated and Cox said that was frustrating and costly.

“This lawsuit involved over a thousand pages of exhibits. There’s an enormous expense and realistically, an enormous waste brought on by the Kealohas to the taxpayers,” Cox said.

Totto and Decaires left the Honolulu Ethics Commission under pressure.

Meanwhile, the Kealohas face two, separate federal trials next year. The charges against them include conspiracy to obstruct justice, identity theft, fraud, and many more.

If they are found not guilty, they can refile the civil suit.

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