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“The longer this drags on the harder this is on my client and his family,” Seitz said. “There’s no reason why we can’t begin to move forward.”
Seitz sent a letter last week to U.S. Magistrate Judge Wes Porter asking him to lift the order staying Puana’s case.
Seitz says he wants to file a new complaint against the Kealohas and their co-defendants, which currently include the City and County of Honolulu and other current and former police officers alleged to have been involved in the frame job and other attempts to deprive Puana of his rights.
So far, Seitz said, he has yet to receive a response to his letter, which is short but goes into detail about how Gerard Puana has suffered over the years as the federal courts worked slowly to bring the Kealohas to justice.
“Gerard Puana has never recovered from the many years of lies, arrests, incarceration, threats, and financial ruin that he endured,” Seitz wrote.
“He suffers from post traumatic stress and cannot get (on) with his life while this litigation remains unresolved. Although he now has some satisfaction that people believe him when he describes the events that took place, Gerard urgently needs to move forward, but he cannot do so in the face of repeated delays.”
Puana’s mother, Florence, will never get that same opportunity, Seitz wrote, because she died in February at the age of 100. Florence Puana was a star witness in the Kealohas’ criminal trial as she described in detail the ways her granddaughter, Katherine, tricked her into getting a reverse mortgage on her home and then stealing the money.
Katherine and Louis Kealoha leave the federal courthouse just hours before a jury convicted them of framing a family member for the theft of their mailbox.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
“Their lives were adversely affected by the intolerable conduct of public officials who used their offices for their own personal advantage and the severe detriment of our clients,” Seitz said in his letter.
“Florence Puana lost the family home that she and her husband built together and in which she raised her nine children. She wanted to leave the home to her heirs when she died. Instead, Florence was forced to move into a tiny, cramped apartment where she lived with one of her daughters for the last six years of her life until she died before we could obtain any recovery for her.”
Seitz said that now the criminal cases against the Kealohas have all but resolved, there should no longer be any concerns about key witnesses self-incriminating themselves.
There’s also no reason, he said, the various parties can’t start filing paperwork with the courts to move the case toward a final resolution, whether it is settlement or trial.
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