Federal inmate steps up to defend Katherine Kealoha, criticize judge

Updated: Sep. 27, 2019 at 11:03 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Disgraced ex-deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha has found an ally in the Federal Detention Center.

Leihinahina Sullivan is making bold statements to the court on Kealoha’s behalf.

Sullivan was indicted on more than 50 counts that include fraud, identity theft, obstruction and money laundering.

Federal prosecutors say she stole from Kamehameha Schools students needing financial aid and from Gates Millennium Scholars. The government also accuses her of stealing information from a non-profit mobile health unit for Native Hawaiians on Kauai.

Sullivan filed a partially handwritten motion in her case to get federal judge J. Michael Seabright recused.

Sullivan accuses the judge of racial bias, and says he is also being unfair to Kealoha and her conviction should be overturned.

Sullivan writes that Seabright was “confusing the two cases as it involved two (2) native Hawaiian women accused of white collar crime.”

The motion goes on to say that “Alison Wong” is a real person.

Alison Lee Wong is an imaginary person Kealoha used to notarize and sign documents to help her steal from relatives.

Sullivan ends her nine-page motion by saying that she and Kealoha are the real victims, “as both women has (sic) been prejudiced by Judge Seabright.”

Sullivan graduated from law school just like Kealoha. Both share a module and apparently both are sharing information, too.

“They’ve got to separate them," said attorney Michael Green, who once represented Sullivan.

He said it appears that Kealoha is manipulating her.

“If Lei (Sullivan) winds up getting into trouble because of Kathy Kealoha, Kathy will turn her back on her,” Green said.

Kealoha was convicted in June of conspiracy and obstruction and the court is recommending 11 to 14 years in prison. She still has two more trials ahead of her.

The first deals with bank fraud charges, and the second is for alleged drug crimes.

Green says the filings could also hurt Kealoha during her upcoming sentencing.

Kealoha’s attorney, Earle Partington says his client had nothing to do with Sullivan’s actions.

Partington says Kealoha has spoken to Sullivan about her case, because they are in the same module, but Partington insists that his client had no idea Sullivan was filing this motion.

“Katherine Kealoha does not condone what Ms. Sullivan is doing,” Partington told Hawaii News Now. He points out that Kealoha has not tried to have the judge recused in any of her cases.

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