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A high-level Honolulu prosecutor has returned from a leave of absence that began in December 2018 when he was identified as a subject in a federal investigation.
Chasid Sapolu started working at the Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney again on Tuesday, the office announced in a brief press release. He is assigned to the juvenile offender unit, the release said.
“Chasid is a talented attorney,” Acting Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto said in a statement. “He has been on the sideline for a long time. Now more than ever we can use all the help we can get. We welcome Chasid back and have already put him to work.”
Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro appointed Chasid Sapolu, left, to be his first deputy in 2017.
Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Nadamoto did not specify what prompted Sapolu’s return. Prosecutor’s office spokesman Brooks Baehr did not respond to questions.
Sapolu’s attorney Randall Hironaka said that his client remains a “subject” whose conduct is within the scope of a grand jury’s investigation.
“He still has that letter. Nothing’s changed. To our knowledge, it hasn’t been rescinded or anything like that,” Hironaka said. “He’s still cooperating. He’s not hiding anything.”
In a statement issued through his attorney, Sapolu reiterated that he is cooperating with “investigative authorities.”
“As I return to work, I continue to believe that the system I am dedicated to serving will find that I have done nothing wrong,” he said.
Sapolu also noted that he took his leave of absence voluntarily.
“My decision was made in the interest of cooperating fully with any law enforcement investigation and to allow the prosecutor’s office to meet its important objectives without distraction,” he said.
Sapolu’s return coincides with the recent retirement of former Honolulu Corporation Counsel Donna Leong.
The city’s top civil attorney had been on paid leave since January 2019 but was transitioned to unpaid leave in May. She issued a letter of resignation in July and officially retired on Aug. 1, citing unspecified recent actions by Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
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