Council resolution demands agencies say how they’ll prevent more Kealoha-esque incidents

Honolulu City Councilmember Ron Menor (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Honolulu City Councilmember Ron Menor (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Jul. 8, 2019 at 5:45 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the wake of the Kealoha corruption verdicts, one leading Honolulu councilman says he has grave concerns about the ability of city agencies to police their own employees ― and he’s demanding they prove they are capable of preventing corruption in their departments.

Councilman Ron Menor, who chairs the Executive Matters Committee, has proposed that the Honolulu Police Department, the Honolulu Police Commission and the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office review their management and ethical oversight procedures, and report to the council about what they have done to improve.

The resolution points out that, with regard to the Kealoha case, there were clear signs of misuse of police and city resources and questionable use powers well before the federal investigation, which eventually led to the conviction of former Chief of Police Louis Kealoha, his wife, former supervising prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, and police officers Derek Hahn and Bobby Nguyen.

The jury trial revealed case after case where the Kealohas’ used their power and city resources to discredit Katherine’s uncle, Gerard Puana, and her grandmother, 99-year-old Florence Puana.

“The Council believes that such patterns of corruption, prosecutorial misconduct, retaliation, favoritism, and abuses of power should have been evident to management and personnel within the HPD and Prosecutor’s Officer long before they were brought to light through the mailbox case and other pending indictments against the Kealohas,” the resolution, 190-156, read.

The resolution was introduced Friday and has not been officially scheduled. There is a full meeting of the council scheduled for Wednesday.

The resolution demands the internal reviews and reports be submitted to the council within 180 days.

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