Local Connection: Pressure for Keith Kaneshiro
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -The Kealoha verdict ended the presumption of innocence of all four defendants – and confirmed that Katherine Kealoha was also guilty of many other crimes, large and small.
Many of those were committed while she was a high-level prosecutor reporting directly to her boss, Keith Kaneshiro.
Looking back, it’s clear Kaneshiro was one of very few people – and the only elected official – who could have prevented the worst of the corruption.
That’s because the financial dispute at the root of this case, the theft from Florence Puana, became public in March of 2013 when the Puana family sued Katherine.
That lawsuit contained serious criminal allegations that were later found credible by federal prosecutors, but went completely ignored by prosecutor Kaneshiro.
Instead of putting Kealoha on leave and investigating, he allowed her to repeatedly abuse the power of her position for retaliation and intimidation of her critics.
Because he was identified as a target of the investigation, Kaneshiro is on paid leave, and his loyal deputy is in charge.
But now, Kaneshiro should resign.
If he does so before the end of this year, Oahu voters will have the chance to elect a new prosecutor, and have a say in leadership of the office once again.
If he is eventually exonerated, he can try and earn back the job by running again.
Regardless, he has another opportunity to do the right thing for the people he pledged to serve.
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