Prosecution’s questioning leaves judge in Kealoha corruption trial peeved

Published: Jun. 4, 2019 at 8:33 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - There were fireworks from the bench Monday in the public corruption trial against the Kealohas as a line of questioning from the prosecution upset the judge.

As the third week of the trial kicked off, Judge Michael Seabright was left frustrated over a number of issues surrounding one witness: FBI agent Caryn Ackerman.

Ackerman was among the first group of agents assigned to the case against former law enforcement power couple Louis and Katherine Kealoha.

On the stand, she testified about emails and a Facebook page for Allison Lee Wong ― which the government alleges is an imaginary person Katherine Kealoha invented to carry out her schemes.

[Read more: ‘The Mailbox Trial’: Public corruption case of unprecedented scope in Hawaii gets underway]

At trial, Ackerman was asked about grand jury transcripts and meetings with the FBI.

The government wanted to show discrepancies in statements made by retired Maj. Gordon Shiraishi, a co-defendant in the public corruption case.

His attorney objected to some of the statements and wanted other sections added. Because the government hasn’t responded to his request from last week, the judge hadn’t ruled yet.

When the government started asking Ackerman about the evidence, Seabright grew angry it was being done without his approval and scolded prosecutors for bringing up the issue in front of the jury.

Also on the stand Monday: A city employee, a state employee and the president from the American Association of Notaries, all of whom testified that Alison Lee Wong could not be found anywhere.

Testimony also revealed to jurors how a notary stamp with Allison Lee Wong’s name on it was sent to the Office of Environmental Quality Control in 2008.

At the time, Katherine Kealoha headed up the office.

“The argument is going to be Kat Kealoha used Alison Lee Wong,” said HNN legal expert Ken Lawson. "Somehow Alison Lee Wong would appear when Kat needed her ― whether for a position, recommendation for a job or a reverse mortgage. "

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