Officer in bizarre crash says he doesn't trust HPD to handle investigation

HPD sergeant wants outside agency to investigate bizarre crash
Published: Nov. 19, 2016 at 3:02 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2016 at 4:49 PM HST
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HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu police sergeant is calling on HPD to appoint an outside agency to investigate a one-car accident he was involved in.

The sergeant, a 20-year veteran of the force, says he's a witness in the federal case into HPD Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife Katherine, a high-ranking deputy prosecutor, and doesn't believe he'll be treated fairly in the investigation into the crash.

The sergeant was off duty early Thursday when his police-subsidized, Chevy Equinox slammed into a Hawaiian Electric Co. building in Hawaii Kai, causing a widespread power outage. When responding police officers arrived, the sergeant got out of the passenger side of the SUV and told them that he was not driving because he fell asleep. He said he didn't know who was driving but no one else was there.

The SUV was subsequently impounded without a warrant and within 48 hours, he was being served a search warrant for the car and for a DNA swab.

"DNA testing? They didn't even test the rape kits yet," the officer said, referring to the backlog of sex assault kits that have yet to be tested for DNA evidence.

The sergeant, who asked that his identity be kept private for his family's safety, went to testify against the Kealohas the day of the accident.

A federal grand jury has been hearing testimony against the Kealohas for more than a year and will determine if the politically powerful couple should face public corruption charges.

"The number one guy is the chief, and I have things pending with him. One of the top prosecutors is his wife... I have testimony against her too," he said.

The sergeant's attorney, Megan Kau, said in all her years as both a prosecutor and defense attorney she has never seen a DNA warrant for a traffic misdemeanor, and certainly not within 48 hours.

"The people investigating work directly under the chief. He's a potential witness against the chief and his wife," Kau said. "It looks like there's something going on, it looks like they're not being fair and if it looks like our police department is not being fair, there's a problem."

Kau said an outside agency should take over the investigation to ensure the sergeant is treated like every other traffic suspect.

The FBI and state Attorney General's office said they could assist if invited to do so but HPD says they have no plans to ask for help.

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