New claims of connections between alleged crime boss and local law enforcement officials

Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 5:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - It has long been rumored that alleged organized crime leader Michael Miske had close ties to government officials in Honolulu ― and now that Miske has been indicted by federal prosecutors, some of those claims are beginning to resurface.

The grand jury indictment that was unsealed earlier this week claims Miske is known to intimidate witnesses and obstruct the prosecution in some cases.

A piece of evidence supporting that allegation is described in the indictment: an audio recording which Honolulu police officer Jared Spiker made in 2015, when he was trying to arrest Miske on a warrant.

“This is the link that connects Michael Miske to the current administration in the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office,” says attorney Megan Kau, who represented Officer Spiker’s sergeant in a traffic case.

In the audio recording, a voice alleged to be Miske can be heard talking to the officer.

“Listen, I gon’ go to the top of the food chain,” the voice can be heard saying.

Not long after that statement, Katherine Kealoha ― then a high-ranking deputy prosecutor ― called Officer Spiker and ordered him to stand down.

But in a court filing last year, Kealoha ― who has since been convicted of federal crimes ― had her attorney respond to the allegations.

“Katherine Kealoha does not know, has never met, and has never had any contact with Michael Miske,” a portion of the court document reads. “Katherine Kealoha was asked by her superior, Roger Lau, to notify Officer Spiker to ‘stand down,’ which she did.”

Roger Lau is the Special Assistant to the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney, Keith Kaneshiro, who has been on leave for more than a year after receiving a target letter from the Department of Justice in connection with the Kealoha investigation.

“This is a huge problem, because Roger Lau is still in that office,” said Kau.

Hawaii News Now cameras have caught Roger Lau, on multiple occasions, going in and out of the federal building in Honolulu to testify before a grand jury that is now hearing evidence against Kaneshiro.

Brooks Baehr, a spokesman for Kaneshiro’s office, says Lau categorically denies ordering Spiker to stand down on Miske ― and says Lau has not received a subject or target letter from the Department of Justice.

Also in 2015, Kamaaiana Plumbing ― one of Miske’s businesses ― did emergency plumbing work for the Family Justice Center, the Honolulu Prosecutor’s domestic violence shelter, which has since been shuttered.

A receipt shows the $104.71 invoice paid for by Kaneshiro’s office. Baehr says Miske did not receive any special treatment in the hiring of his company, and says there are no links between the office and Miske.

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