HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro has placed himself on paid leave amid a federal criminal investigation, but sources say he has returned to the office at least twice in the last five days.
Kaneshiro’s appearances are concerning many, including the state attorney general.
She told Hawaii News Now in a statement Wednesday that she planned to look into the matter.
Kaneshiro, the target of a federal investigation, put himself on paid leave last week Thursday instead of fighting Attorney General Clare Connors’ petition to the state Supreme Court to have him suspended.
But since he announced his plans to go on leave, HNN has learned that he returned to the office twice: On Friday morning and again on Tuesday morning. Each time, he remained at the office for several hours.
When asked about the visits, Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Brooks Baehr said Kaneshiro was there to retrieve personal items and said his access to in-house systems has been cut off.
Brooks did not respond to questions about whether Kaneshiro had been escorted during his visits and if he planned on returning again.
In a statement, Connors said that Kaneshiro "should not be in the office during his period of leave."
She added, "I will look into when and why Mr. Kaneshiro has been allowed access, and will confirm that Mr. Kaneshiro is not to be on the premises.”
Other legal experts responded with similar concerns.
“The intent of the A.G.’s office was to have him totally removed," said attorney Keith Kiuchi, who is assisting with an effort to impeach Kaneshiro, “You’re kind of tricking the system."
Kiuchi said Kaneshiro’s mere presence could influence deputies or intimidate those who testified against him in grand jury proceedings.
Another attorney, William Harrison, said that the fact that Kaneshiro is "continuing to be in the office suggests that there are continual problems.”
Harrison claims his client’s criminal case was tainted by Kaneshiro and a former high ranking deputy prosecutor under him, Katherine Kealoha.
Kiuchi acknowledged that Nadamoto is qualified to take the reins for now, but fears he may be too close to his boss.