(AP) — Retired Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha says he wants to stick with the federal taxpayer-funded lawyer who’s been representing him on corruption-related charges.

Kealoha said in court Friday he’s satisfied with his attorney, Rustam Barbee.

Kealoha and his wife, former prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, received taxpayer-funded attorneys when they said they couldn’t afford to hire lawyers.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright called for the hearing after learning the Honolulu Police Commission approved a request for a city-funded attorney to represent the ex-chief in a case focusing on allegations the Kealohas used police resources to frame a relative.

It’s unclear whether the commission’s decision allows the city to reimburse the federal government for Barbee’s work. Seabright says he won’t allow the city to decide who represents Kealoha.

Former deputy city prosecutor Katherine Kealoha with Louis Kealoha arrives at the Federal Court house.
Louis and Katherine Kealoha outside the Federal Courthouse before a recent hearing. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

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