Retiring Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha’s $250,000 severance payment isn’t sitting well with his acting successor.

On Tuesday, the department released a Jan. 19 letter that Acting Police Chief Cary Okimoto wrote to department employees that expressed his worry about how the payout might affect the budget.

The Honolulu Police Commission approved the deal during a closed-door meeting Jan. 18 as part of a deal to get Kealoha to retire.

HPD Acting Chief Cary Okimoto looks on as Acting Mayor Roy Amemiya speaks to media during presser at HPD headquarters. 20 dec 2016
Acting Honolulu Police Chief Cary Okimoto is leading a department that has come under federal scrutiny for allegations of corruption. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Kealoha is a target of an ongoing corruption investigation along with his wife, Katherine, a city prosecutor, and other officers in the police department.

“The HPD does not support or oppose the retirement agreement,” Okimoto said. “However, I would be remiss if I did not express my concern.

“For the record, I am opposed to the use of departmental monies to fund the severance payment,” he wrote. “The department did not participate in the discussion process and was only informed of the final decision shortly before yesterday’s news conference.”

The Police Commission negotiated Kealoha’s separation agreement in a series of private meetings, some of which may have violated the state’s Sunshine Law.

In addition to the $250,000 lump sum payment, Kealoha is entitled to his full pension and benefits. It’s estimated that Kealoha, who has 33 years of service with HPD, could earn around $150,000 per year in pension payments.

A provision of Kealoha’s retirement deal — which specifically states that he is leaving in “good standing” — says that he would be required to pay back the $250,000 severance if he’s convicted of a felony in the next six years.

No charges have been filed against Kealoha in connection with the U.S. Justice Department investigation. The chief, whose official retirement date is March 1, has maintained his innocence.

Read Okimoto’s letter here:

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