Acting city prosecutor faces heat over failure to act in wake of scandals

Current leadership at city Prosecutor’s Office faces new scrutiny

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Acting city Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto continues to dodge questions about the suspected cover-up of crimes by ex-deputy Katherine Kealoha.

Nadamoto was called before the City Council’s Executive Matters and Legal Affairs committee twice recently and comments he made have raised concern from Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors.

In a statement following Nadamoto’s Sept. 25 appearance, Connors told Hawaii News Now, “We will continue to monitor whether another extraordinary set of circumstances exists.”

In February, Connors moved to have the elected prosecuting attorney Keith Kaneshiro suspended because he is a target of the federal public corruption investigation that has since taken down Kealoha and her husband, the ex police chief.

Kaneshiro put himself on paid leave as a result of Connors’ actions and Nadamoto assumed the role.

Councilman Ron Menor grilled Nadamoto at both that Sept. 25 hearing and the hearing Tuesday about possible lies by the office to protect Kealoha.

In particular, he wanted to know more about the time she convinced a judge to dismiss a speeding ticket for her electrician. She also convinced a different judge to drop a DUI for a longtime friend.

Kealoha also directed a subordinate to take legal action against a family member who she was feuding with.

Menor wants an investigative audit done on the office to ensure employees have a way to come forward without fearing retaliation, when there is questionable behavior.

Coworkers of Katherine Kealoha had said she was considered untouchable and feared reporting her behavior.

The full council vote on the audit that is scheduled for next month.

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