Push to impeach Kaneshiro remains strong despite judge’s petition dismissal

Published: Jul. 9, 2019 at 7:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu judge has dismissed a petition to impeach prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro.

The decision to dismiss the petition came Monday over concerns about the electronic signatures filed.

A judge felt the electronic signatures were not sufficient, and there was reasonable doubt they could be subject to fraud.

The petition organizer, Tracy Yoshimura, says he is planning to refile the petition.

In a written response to the dismissal, Yoshimura said while he does not agree with the judge’s decision, he is also not deterred.

He added the purpose of the initial petition was to filter out what the requirements are to impeach the prosecutor. Now that details have been clarified, and Katherine Kealoha has been convicted, he said the argument to oust Kaneshiro will be stronger a second time around.

On Tuesday, those in favor of impeachment echoed their dedication to seeing it through.

“This does not deter us from impeaching Mr. Kaneshiro, especially given additional information and facts that have come to light in the last two weeks,” attorney Keith Kiuchi said.

Kiuchi said Katherine Kealoha’s guilty verdict leaves no doubt that she abused her powers as a prosecutor to frame her uncle who along with his mother Florence Puana were suing Katherine Kealoha for fraud.

“This is a sordid chapter of Hawaii history when you’ve got the police chief indicted, convicted, a prosecuting attorney in charge of career criminals indicted, convicted," he said.

Kaneshiro’s attorney meanwhile didn’t back down from criticizing the move to impeach the prosecutor.

“They failed not just once, not just twice but three times in failing to follow correct procedures and I guess three strikes and you’re out,” Kaneshiro’s attorney Bill McCorriston said.

Backers of the the impeachment efforts say a new petition could be filed as early as next month.

Kaneshiro is the target of a federal investigation tied to the Kealoha case. He’s been on paid leave for the last four months.

This story will be updated.

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