HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Keith Kaneshiro is still being paid his taxpayer-funded salary: $177,000 a year while on leave.
He even got a raise in July.
That’s one reason the impeachment effort is ongoing and organizers say they want voters to chose Kaneshiro’s replacement until the election next year.
Tracy Yoshimura, who Kaneshiro unsuccessfully tried to prosecute over gaming machines, is leading the charge, now fighting a state judge’s decision that allows the city to block the use of electronic signatures on the impeachment petition.
Yoshimura filed a motion for reconsideration last week, challenging the city’s attorneys who say they can refuse to allow e-signatures.
Yoshimura’s petition says state law prevents the refusal without a clear, adopted policy. He suspects the corporation counsel office is against impeachment, because Donna Leong, the head of that office, is also a target of the massive federal public corruption case that has already resulted in the conviction and detention of Kaneshiro’s former deputy, Katherine Kealoha.
Kaneshiro vigorously defended the disgraced Kealoha who abused her official position.
That loyalty is what got the attention of the FBI, who has now turned their focus on Kaneshiro. Last year he received a target letter from the Department of Justice and witnesses continue to be called to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence against him.
While Kaneshiro is on leave, his hand picked successor, Acting Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto is in charge.
“The people have already said ‘we don’t want the status quo’,” Yoshimura’s attorney, Keith Kiuchi says Nadamoto taking over the office means nothing has changed, “That’s the whole reason why it’s important that whether it be by hand signatures or electronic signatures, we get this done by December 31.”
If impeachment proceedings are not done by Dec. 31, Nadamoto remains in position until the election.
The website, impeachkaneshiro.com, is being used by Yoshimura to make contact with those wanting to sign the petition by hand.
William McCorriston, Kaneshiro’s attorney, has until Monday to respond to the motion to reconsider.
“Does the presumption of innocence mean anything to anybody?” McCorriston says the impeachment is payback for Kaneshiro prosecuting people.