Acting city prosecutor gets FBI subpoena to testify in ongoing criminal probe of his boss

Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 6:09 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - City Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto confirmed Wednesday that he’s received a subpoena to testify before the federal grand jury investigating his boss: Keith Kaneshiro.

“I did receive a subpoena sometime earlier this week and we are going to comply with it,” Nadamoto told reporters at a news conference.

“In the year since the Kealoha investigation has been going on, dozens of people have been called to testify. Until now, I had not been called. I suspect it has been because the federal government knows I have done nothing wrong. However as acting prosecuting attorney, I am glad to help.”

He added that he had not planned to publicly announce that he’d received a subpoena, but decided to acknowledge that he’d been called to testify after a media inquiry.

FBI agents delivered the subpoena to Nadamoto on Monday, and Hawaii News Now learned of it the following day.

HNN asked the city Prosecutor’s Office for more information on Tuesday, but received no reply.

Nadamoto said he had not planned to discuss the subpoena because it asked him “not to mention it to anyone.”

“I was expecting to fully comply with this. When I learned that the media had already known about the subpoena we decided to call this press conference and acknowledge it,” he said.

“The people in Honolulu deserve a Prosecutor’s Office that is honest, hard-working and transparent.”

Nadamoto took over the controversial office after Kaneshiro went on paid administrative leave following a target letter from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Kaneshiro was in charge when disgraced former deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha committed multiple federal crimes.

Kealoha was subsequently convicted of obstruction and conspiracy and then pleaded guilty to additional crimes of bank fraud, identity theft and misprision of felony.

[Read more: Is the Prosecutor’s Office doomed to repeat the past? That’s what the Council is worried about]

[Read more: Did Honolulu’s acting prosecutor lie to the City Council in his testimony?]

Nadamoto has faced growing scrutiny in recent months over how the Prosecutor’s Office has sought to deal with the fallout of the Kealoha scandal.

The City Council had tough questions for Nadamoto last month over why his office hasn’t taken steps to independently confirm how Kealoha abused her office for years for her personal benefit.

In the wake of Nadamoto’s testimony, the City Council asked the acting city prosecutor whether he lied in testimony to the body.

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