Summer might be over before Honolulu has a new police chief.

And in case you needed a reminder: The official last day of the season is Sept. 22.

On Wednesday, Honolulu Police Commission officials announced they were having trouble finding a consultant to help analyze and score the 34 candidates who applied for the job.

HPD Police Commission Chair Max Sword gestures during meeting held at HPD headquarters.

Honolulu Police Commission Chairman Max Sword says the commission is waiting to hire a consultant before looking at applications.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Police Commission Chairman Max Sword said the most recent procurement delay was caused by the commission’s top consulting candidate backing out at the last minute.

Sword said the commission will now enter into contract discussions the next highest bidder. He did not disclose the names of the consultants who applied.

“We’re back to square one now with the procurement issues,” Sword said. “We want to make a thorough job of it so we can get the best chief we can get.”

Sword said the commission will notify the 34 candidates to let them know of the delay. He added that none of the commissioners have seen any of their applications.

A Vacancy Since January

Officials had initially hoped to have a police new chief installed by July or August.

The Honolulu Police Department, which is the 20th largest in the U.S., has been without a permanent police chief since January when Louis Kealoha retired amid controversy.

Kealoha is the target of an ongoing federal investigation into corruption and abuse of power along with his wife, Katherine, who is a city prosecutor.

The investigation stems from allegations that the couple framed Katherine Kealoha’s uncle, Gerard Puana, for the theft of their mailbox to settle a personal score over money.

Puana had filed a lawsuit against his Katherine Kealoha alleging she had stolen money from him and his mother, who 95 years old at the time.

Since then the investigation has expanded to include several other HPD officers. One former officer has already pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy.

Kealoha’s deputy chief, Cary Okimoto, is now serving as HPD’s acting chief.

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