HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After Keith Kaneshiro placed himself on administrative leave pending the outcome of a federal criminal investigation, he was told to stay away from the city prosecutor’s office until the investigation was over.
But nearly a month after he was warned by the state Attorney General to keep his distance, he’s still showing up to Ali’i Place, Hawaii News Now has learned.
In the days after Kaneshiro’s decision to go on leave, Honolulu’s Acting Prosecuting Attorney, Dwight Nadamoto, allowed his boss to return to the office to pick up some personal belongings.
He did so at least twice over a span of five days, remaining at the office for several hours during each visit. A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office did not respond to questions about whether Kaneshiro had been escorted during those visits.
But since the day he was warned to keep out, Kaneshiro has shown up to the office building at least four more times. During each of those visits, sources tell Hawaii News Now, Kaneshiro met with his executive assistant, Carol Nakamura, and was handed envelopes.
On Wednesday afternoon, the prosecutor’s office denied that Kaneshiro had returned to his actual office in the building but admitted that he has visited the building, which has a public parking lot.
The spokesperson did not answer Hawaii News Now’s questions about why Kaneshiro met with Nakamura, and did not deny that the meetings had taken place.
A spokesperson for the state’s Attorney General’s office said Wednesday that their expectation was that Kaneshiro would not visit Ali’i Place and would have ‘no contact’ with office personnel, including Nakamura ― and that “anything short of that raises concerns.”
“Mr. Kaneshiro should not be visiting the building and getting files and envelopes from his executive assistant," the spokesperson said in a statement. "We’ve been told by Mr. Kaneshiro’s counsel that he was getting paystubs and personal items – we have communicated that this practice should stop and paystubs etc. should be mailed to him.”
The new allegations are unlikely to alleviate the recent scrutiny that has been placed upon the prosecutor’s office.
Experts say the investigation into Kaneshiro and his former deputy, Katherine Kealoha, may have already tainted criminal cases that were being pursued by the prosecutor’s office.
Chasid Sapulo, Kaneshiro’s former First Deputy, is also on paid leave after receiving a subject letter from the Department of Justice, indicating that he, too, is under federal investigation.
An effort to permanently remove Kaneshiro through the impeachment process continues but is facing challenges over the verification of online signatures. Organizers had to switch from one website to DocuSign, impeachkaneshiro.com, because it apparently collects more information from those who sign.