Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine Kealoha, took to the television Wednesday to proclaim their innocence in a wide-ranging federal grand jury investigation that involves allegations of corruption and abuse of power.
In an exclusive interview with KHON’s Gina Mangieri, the chief and his wife, a high-ranking city prosecutor, said they’re certain that investigators won’t find any wrongdoing in a strange, convoluted case that stems from the theft, in 2013, of their mailbox.
“I would be surprised if anything came out,” Louis Kealoha said. “I am absolutely confident that these allegations, that they’re going to be unfounded.”
This is the first time the chief and his wife have appeared together to publicly address the federal investigation as well as a related city ethics probe, launched last year, that they attempted to halt through an anonymous lawsuit. The status of that probe is unclear.
Civil Beat has been asking to speak with the Kealohas for more than a year to discuss these issues, as have other media outlets. The chief also has denied numerous requests for interviews about other topics, despite earlier assurances that he would be more transparent.
Mangieri’s interview — which you can watch here — appears to have taken place in the Kealoha’s home, with both the chief and his wife dressed casually in aloha attire.
The Kealohas were defiant in their answers to Mangieri’s questions. In one of the most interesting exchanges in the interview, they also made vague references to a conspiracy against them.
Here’s that part of the transcript:
Louis Kealoha: I think what this is all about is, you have people with their own professional and personal agendas to achieve their own goals. This is something everyone wants to hang their hat on to promote themselves, so it is frustrating. It is disappointing, in a way, to see how this is unfolding.
Katherine Kealoha: There are a lot of cases that I’ve been currently working on that a lot of people are very upset about, and I’m talking about a lot of people that are in substantial positions of power within the county.
Gina Mangieri: It seems so unfathomable that so many agencies and individuals would realistically gang up on two people.
LK: I think people want to believe so much that the police chief is corrupt, that the prosecutor is corrupt, that they’re willing to do anything, including lie, to make it true.
The KHON piece didn’t probe any deeper on the Kealohas’ statements that they’re being unfairly targeted by politically influential people. But Mangieri did promise that there was more to come in a follow-up piece.
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