New questions emerge over deputy prosecutor's alleged ticket fixing
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro is offering yet another explanation in a ticket fixing scandal that has his deputy under federal investigation.
Deputy City Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, wife of Police Chief Louis Kealoha and head of his career criminal unit, is accused of lying in court to fix a speeding ticket for her electrician.
Questions about the speeding ticket have been a repeated topic for a federal grand jury that will decide if Katherine Kealoha and her husband will face public corruption charges.
And there are three conflicting theories around the ticket.
The electrician whose ticket was dismissed, who Hawaii News Now is identifying as A.W., got the ticket in 2014. Katherine Kealoha subsequently went to his court hearing and told the judge that an imposter was driving A.W.'s truck, audio recordings only Hawaii News Now has obtained show.
The imposter, she claimed, is a career criminal who would be facing charges. The judge accepted her explanation and got the ticket for A.W. thrown out. But Hawaii News Now never found another charge connected to the ticket.
A second theory emerged recently. Sources say three high-ranking, Honolulu police officers were called in to meet with Kealoha and Kaneshiro because the prosecutors had accused police officers of writing ghost or fake tickets.
Source say that the prosecutors specifically told the HPD brass that officer Ty Ah Nee never wrote the speeding ticket to A.W. and that A.W. never received the ticket.
But the ghost ticket theory was shot down by HPD's Internal Affairs division.
On Thursday, those three high-ranking HPD officers walked into federal court to testify before the federal grand jury.
A third explanation for the ticket fixing scandal also emerged this week. This time, from Kaneshiro himself.
And his theory seems to conflict with the other theories.
"Well ... let me put it this way," Kaneshiro told Hawaii News Now. "The ticket that was dismissed on that particular person was pursuant to a plea agreement with our office. It was a plea agreement signed by me."
But there is no such agreement in court records and Kaneshiro's statements contradict with what Kealoha said in court about an alleged imposter.
Hawaii News Now asked to see the plea agreement, but Kaneshiro's office didn't respond to the request Friday.
Former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle questioned the story Friday, and said it didn't make sense to him that Kaneshiro would get involved in a plea agreement over a traffic ticket.
"Me personally, I would never have done that, never have, that I'm aware of," Carlisle said. "It can happen but there's no good reason for it to happen."
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