Indicted Honolulu deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha has resigned, the county confirmed Monday.
Kealoha first went on voluntary leave after being injured at work in April 2017. After she and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, were indicted on fraud and corruption charges nearly a year ago, she was placed on involuntary unpaid leave.
Her departure, noted in a one-sentence press release from the county prosecuting attorney’s office, comes two months before the Kealohas face their first federal trial scheduled for Nov. 14. In that case, they are accused of lying on loan applications. Katherine Kealoha is accused of stealing from trust accounts belonging to two children while she was serving as their guardian.
Next year, the Kealohas are scheduled to go to trial again over an alleged scheme in which the couple used police officers from a special unit to retaliate against Katherine Kealoha’s uncle, Gerard Puana, who had accused his niece of stealing money from him and her grandmother. Prosecutors say the scheme involved having officers frame Puana for stealing the Kealohas’ mailbox and then fabricating evidence against him.
Katherine Kealoha first began working for the prosecutor’s office as an intern in the 1990s.
Her attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada, did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
On Friday, Kealoha and her husband appeared at back-to-back hearings on two separate matters involving their upcoming criminal trials.
In the first hearing regarding the sale of the couple’s Hawaii Kai home, U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi said he would select a real estate agent to handle the transaction, based on submissions from both the couple and their creditors. All of the parties are trying to avoid a foreclosure sale, which could mean a lower price for it.
“Obviously, a private sale is in everyone’s best interest,” Puglisi said.
The AP reported in March that property records assessed the value of the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home at nearly $1.4 million. The Kealohas purchased the property for $1.2 million in 2013.
In the second hearing before U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright, final language for questions to be posed to potential jurors in the November trial was hammered out. The judge also considered a “medical matter of a personal nature” that was closed to the public but included Katherine Kealoha and her attorney. The judge’s order as a result of that hearing has been sealed.
Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to email@example.com and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can still comment on stories on our Facebook page.
Stay Up To Date On The Coronavirus And Other Hawaii Issues
Before you go
Civil Beat is a small nonprofit newsroom that provides free content with no paywall. That means readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism.
The truth is that less than 1% of our monthly readers are financial supporters. To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.