Local Connection: Officer pleads guilty
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the last few days we have seen huge developments in the ongoing investigation of Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a supervising Deputy in the office of Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro.
For the first time, the code of silence was broken when a former officer admitted he lied, under oath, and was directed by other officers as part of a conspiracy to frame an innocent man.
It was also the first time we heard the FBI and prosecutor's overall theory of the case. Even though the court documents don't name names, the facts are truly shocking.
And finally, on Monday we learned that the Chief has received a letter saying he is a target of the investigation – facing felony indictment.
The federal government believes that Katherine Kealoha and the officers faked the theft of her mailbox, and staged the surveillance video as evidence to frame her uncle. This is the first time we know for sure that the FBI's evidence supports that accusation enough to get this first guilty plea and that the conspirators face federal felonies. The officers allegedly involved work for an elite unit that reports directly to the chief.
Of course, we presume all are innocent until proven guilty. But IF true this amounts not only to a violation of the law, but a tremendous abuse of the power of law enforcement and of taxpayer resources.
Also shocking is the apparent lack of concern about this by Honolulu's top law enforcement agencies. Prosecutor Kaneshiro issued a statement supporting Mrs. Kealoha and belittling the investigation. The police department at least expressed concern and disappointment but said it would take action only if allegations were "confirmed." The police chief also remained defiant – and stopped short of putting himself on leave.
It's time these important agencies realize that the reputation of law enforcement in Honolulu is in their hands – and defying the federal department of justice is no way to inspire confidence.
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