Did Honolulu’s acting prosecutor lie to the City Council in his testimony?
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Did the head of the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office lie to a City Council committee last month?
That’s what a shocked committee chair is now formally asking after hearing acting city Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto defend a number of ex-deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha’s alleged misdeeds.
Councilman Ron Menor sent a letter to Nadamoto on Thursday and it included a warning that deception could cost him his law license and his job.
The dispute stems from Nadamoto’s testimony to the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs committee on Sept. 24 about a resolution for law enforcement reform.
The resolution follows the conspiracy and obstruction convictions of ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, along with two Honolulu two police officers, Bobby Nguyen and Derek Hahn.
Nadamoto started his testimony saying he wanted to clarify items in the resolution.
One of those items: That Kealoha went to traffic court urging a judge to throw out a speeding ticket for her electrician.
Nadamoto said the case was part of a bigger investigation into police corruption.
But multiple sources say that is not true and believe the city Prosecutor’s Office investigation into public corruption was fabricated to cover up for Kealoha’s ticket fixing.
Kealoha also got a DUI dropped for a longtime family friend, author Chris McKinney.
Nadamoto told council members that McKinney was a confidential informant, but federal prosecutors actually call him a co-conspirator in the indictment charging Kealoha with a list of drug crimes.
The third concern raised by Menor involves Kealoha’s uncle, Gerard Puana.
Puana’s record was wiped clean of a 2011 conviction for unlawful entry into a dwelling after a dispute over a parking space with a neighbor.
In 2013, Kealoha directed one of her deputies to try to get the deferral reversed so that Puana would have a conviction on his record.
Kealoha was involved in a family dispute with Puana at that time.
“Mr. Nadamoto’s testimony suggests to me that he may not have thoroughly evaluated the pattern of corruption and abuses of power that occurred in his office,” Menor said, adding that he will allow Nadamoto time to evaluate the letter.
Another hearing on the resolution will be scheduled by the end of the month and Menor wants to publicly question Nadamoto about his statements.
The city Prosecutor’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.