A Honolulu police major caught up in a federal corruption investigation involving city law enforcement has retired after 33 years of service.
Gordon Shiraishi’s last day with the Honolulu Police Department was Friday.
His retirement comes amid an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into HPD and the Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.
Retired HPD Maj. Gordon Shiraishi
Honolulu Police Department
The criminal probe began after evidence surfaced that indicated former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, a city prosecutor, had attempted to frame her uncle, Gerard Puana, in 2013 for the theft of their mailbox, apparently so that they could gain the upper hand in a lawsuit.
Shiraishi was a captain in HPD’s Criminal Intelligence Unit at the time of the alleged theft. The unit is an elite group of officers who conduct surveillance and investigate organized crime and terrorism. Several of its members were involved in the investigation of the stolen mailbox.
In December, former HPD officer Niall Silva, who worked for Shiraishi in CIU, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy charges after admitting that he took part in the set-up. Silva, who has agreed to work with federal officials, faces up to five years in prison.
Court documents indicated that there were at least five other unnamed co-conspirators in the case, one of which is Katherine Kealoha. The other four were described as HPD officers.
Louis Kealoha received a target letter from the Justice Department indicating he was a suspect in its investigation shortly after Silva’s guilty plea. Four other officers, including Shiraishi, also received target letters.
Shiraishi was promoted to major in 2014 and transferred to HPD’s training division. According to HPD, he had been reassigned to the information technology branch when he retired.
In 1991, Shiraishi was suspended by HPD for five days after he “mistreated a prisoner” at the Kalihi station. According to HPD records, he had also falsified records.
Attempts to reach Shiraishi were unsuccessful. An HPD spokeswoman also declined a request for comment.
It’s unclear how much longer the Justice department investigation will go on.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Wheat, of San Diego, who is spearheading the federal grand jury proceedings, has refused to talk about his work. But Wheat continues to visit Hawaii every other week to interview witnesses and present evidence of alleged wrongdoing to the grand jury.