Civil Beat Staff

Nick Grube

Nick Grube is the Washington, D.C. correspondent for Honolulu Civil Beat. Prior to that he was an investigative reporter focusing on criminal justice and legal affairs, a position that led him to one of the largest public corruption scandals in Hawaii history. The case, which is still ongoing, resulted in the federal indictment of a former police chief, his prosecutor wife and several police officers.

Nick’s coverage of police misconduct has resulted in several changes to Hawaii law, including the creation of a new oversight agency to make sure officers meet minimum training standards and requirements. His series on problem officers in the Honolulu Police Department helped spur the creation of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, a nonprofit law firm that helps citizens and journalists get access to public records. The law center has represented Civil Beat in several cases some of which have been argued before the Hawaii Supreme Court.

In 2015, Nick and a colleague undertook a investigative project that uncovered major shortcomings in financial oversight of Honolulu’s multi-billion dollar rail project that was both behind schedule and over-budget. As a result, the Honolulu City Council changed city law to require the agency overseeing the project to provide more detailed financial information to the public about the subcontractors working on the project.

Nick’s career in journalism began at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and took him to California, Oregon, Hawaii and Washington, D.C. He’s covered everything from prison gangs to politics. His work has been recognized by several organizations, including the California Newspaper Publishers Association, Society of Professional Journalists and Online News Association. He was selected in 2018 by the National Press Foundation for the Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellowship, a nine month program for promising young journalists based in the nation’s capital.

News tips are welcome and appreciated. Send them directly to or anonymously using this Tipbox link, which uses automatic encryption. (NOTE: If you send a tip through Tipbox Nick cannot respond unless there’s contact information in the body of the message.)

December 2013

Monday, December 30

Hawaii Police Union Wants Officer Misconduct Records Kept Confidential

Saturday, December 28

What’s Being Done to Prevent Another Molasses Spill in Hawaii?

Governor Taps More Funds for Hawaii’s Mentally Ill Prisoners

Friday, December 27

Urban High: Rail Lets Honolulu Grow Up

Monday, December 23

It’s Your Money: Man Shot By Honolulu Police Gets $150K

Sunday, December 22

Another Union, Another Raise: Who’s To Say There’s No Money?

Wednesday, December 18

How Will Hawaii Police Its Police? Lawmakers and Lawsuit Shape the Future

Tuesday, December 17

Hawaii Senator Wants More Accountability for Environmental Spills

Honolulu Rail Audit: Too Many Consultants, Too Little Accountability

Thursday, December 12

Did Honolulu’s $142M Housing Deal Collapse?

Wednesday, December 11

Running a Business: Inside The Honolulu Marathon

Tuesday, December 10

Caldwell Fears For Honolulu Homeless If City Housing Deal Collapses

Saturday, December 7

Honolulu Rail Exec Had Been VP at Firm That Just Won New Rail Contract

Thursday, December 5

The List: Contributors to Mayor’s Transition Committee Revealed

Will The Honolulu Ethics Commission Have To Subpoena The Mayor’s Cabinet?

Wednesday, December 4

Who Knows Better? Honolulu Ethics Commission Or Caldwell’s Attorneys?

Tuesday, December 3

Financial Disclosure: Check Out The Latest Filings From City Officials

Sunday, December 1

$156 Million Short? Honolulu Mayor Keeping Budget in Check

November 2013

Wednesday, November 27

New Engineer Takes Over Honolulu Rail Project

Tuesday, November 26

When Does an Attack Become a Hate Crime?

Saturday, November 23

Racist Facebook Bullying And Threats Prompt Hawaii Lawsuit

Thursday, November 21

Assaults on Mental Health Workers Spur Hawaii Senate Investigation

Tuesday, November 19

Caldwell Admin Defends Budget Tactics Before Ethics Commission

Monday, November 18

What’s Going on Between Ethics Commission and Caldwell Administration?

Thursday, November 14

It’s Your Money: Lack of Flood Prevention Costs Honolulu $2.7 Million

Wednesday, November 13

New Molasses Spill Response Plan Concedes Environmental Danger

Friday, November 8

Civil Beat Files Lawsuit In Effort to Free Up Police Misconduct Records

Tuesday, November 5

Is Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell Trying to Weaken the Ethics Commission?

Saturday, November 2

Hawaii DOT ‘Never Got Around’ To Telling Matson Its Pipe Was Still Leaking

October 2013

Saturday, October 19

Ethics Probe into Honolulu Mayor Sparks Talk of Reform

Friday, October 18

Hawaii Harbor Officials Tell Port Businesses to Provide Response Plans

Thursday, October 17

Hawaii’s Public Records: What Can Hawaii Learn From Other States?

Officials Jack Up Charges to Keep Public Records From Being Released

Thursday, October 10

Honolulu Charities Fight For Taxpayer Dollars in Heated Political Debate

Wednesday, October 9

Tunnel Vision? Not When It Comes to Honolulu’s High Stakes Rail Project

Monday, October 7

A Tale of Two Cops: One HPD Officer Fired, Another Keeps His Badge

Thursday, October 3

Development Agency and Kakaako to Face Lawmakers’ Scrutiny

September 2013

Thursday, September 19

Superfund Money Is Available for Honolulu Molasses Spill

Unions Spared From Taxes After Honolulu Mayor Defers His Own Bill

Tuesday, September 17

Matson Will Pay Back Hawaii for Molasses Spill, Plans Own Investigation

Sunday, September 15

Honolulu Molasses Spill Could Lead to New Laws, Stricter Oversight

Thursday, September 12

It’s Your Money: How Much Does an HPD Motorcade Cost?

Sunday, September 8

Lying Down on Honolulu Sidewalks Could Soon Cost You $50

Thursday, September 5

Honolulu Rail’s New $27 Million Safety Feature to Avert Track Fatalities

August 2013

Friday, August 30

Death Threats Against Gabbard Detailed in Court Documents

Deedy Case: Is a Second Trial Worth the Cost?

Wednesday, August 28

Honolulu Prosecutor: Deedy Will Face New Murder Charge

Tuesday, August 27

Deedy Trial: A Hung Jury Means Federal Agent Could Be Back In Court

The “Stairway to Heaven” Is More Remote Than Ever

Friday, August 23

Why Didn’t Hawaii Counties Fight Back Against SHOPO Contract?

Thursday, August 22

Who’s Really to Blame for Honolulu’s Budget Woes?

Tuesday, August 20

Who’s the New Guy Running Things at Honolulu Hale?

Friday, August 16

Will Court Delays Let Honolulu Argue Rail Is Past Point of No Return?

Tuesday, August 13

ORI Refutes Any Wrongdoing, Says Honolulu ‘Caved’ to HUD

Thursday, August 8

Deedy Trial — Should A Federal Agent Have Left Before Violence Erupted?

Wednesday, August 7

Christopher Deedy: ‘My Brain Was Going in a Thousand Directions’

Friday, August 2

At What Point Is Killing Another Man Considered Self-Defense in Hawaii?

July 2013

Wednesday, July 31

Tall Buildings, Cheap Rent and Hawaii’s Ability to Manage Development

Thursday, July 25

Did Honolulu Commit $10 Million in Mistakes on Ala Wai Pipe Fix?

Sunday, July 21

Despite Honolulu’s Own Investigation, Questions Remain About ORI

Friday, July 19

ORI Investigation Over, Honolulu to Pay Back $1.88M in Federal Grants

Monday, July 15

Honolulu Rail: Where Are We Now?

Thursday, July 11

Honolulu Police Contract’s $200 Million Increase Could Spur Tax Hikes

Deedy Trial: McDonald’s Video is of Such Poor Quality It’s Little Help

Honolulu Cop Under Fire for Facebook Comments About Deedy Murder Trial

Tuesday, July 9

‘Frustratingly Fuzzy’ Video Could Mean Prison or Freedom for Federal Agent

Monday, July 8

Bow Ties, Spies and Money: A Look Inside Hawaii’s Intel Community

June 2013

Friday, June 28

A House Divided — Which Way Will Democrats in Hawaii Go?

Wednesday, June 26

Reporter’s Diary: How I Got Probed at the NSA

Tuesday, June 25

Embattled Hawaii Nonprofit Enjoyed Tens of Millions in Military Dollars

Saturday, June 22

Can Inouye’s Ghost Take Down Sen. Brian Schatz?

Friday, June 21

Caldwell: Brace for Cuts in Honolulu City Services

Wednesday, June 19

Feds: Hawaii Must Repay Half-Million Dollars in Stimulus Money

Tuesday, June 18

Inouye’s Chief of Staff Takes Over Honolulu Rail Advocacy Group

Saturday, June 15

Honolulu Could Kickstart Response to Urban Homelessness

Wednesday, June 12

HUD: Was ORI Loan Forgiven Because of Campaign Contributions?

Tuesday, June 11

The Whistleblower and the ‘Super Hero Pole Dancer’: A Hawaii Love Story

Monday, June 10

The Spies Next Door: The National Security Agency Works in our Shadows

Friday, June 7

Kickback? Letter Shows ORI Head Sought $90k Donation From Contractor

Thursday, June 6

Honolulu City Council Keeps Controversial Earmarks For Nonprofits

Wednesday, June 5

ORI Mismanagement May Throw A Last-Minute Wrench In City Budget

Tuesday, June 4

HUD Nails City For $8 Million In ORI Mismanagement Fiasco

Saturday, June 1

Should The City Earmark Millions For Favored Nonprofit Groups?

May 2013

Friday, May 31

Who’s Driving TheBus? Honolulu Councilman Wants Ethics Oversight

Thursday, May 30

Honolulu Mayor Blasts City Council For ‘Out Of Control’ Earmarks

Saturday, May 25

Is Honolulu Hale Safe?

Friday, May 24

Should Honolulu Council Restore TheBus Or Spend More Money On Charities?

Wednesday, May 22

Honolulu City Council Denies Mayor’s Repeated Requests To Raise Taxes

Saturday, May 18

Federal Judge Refuses To Toss (de)Occupy Honolulu Suit Despite City’s Efforts

Thursday, May 16

Caldwell Campaign Chair Backs Out Of Zoning Board Appointment

Wednesday, May 15

Soaring Union Costs Are Making It Difficult To Balance Honolulu Budget

Tuesday, May 14

Honolulu’s Thomas Square Upgrade Steeped In Controversy

Honolulu Seeks Ways To Cut Down Wait For Firearm Permits

Saturday, May 11

Where’s The Pork? Honolulu City Council Dishes Out The Earmarks

Friday, May 10

A ‘Desperate’ Search For More Money Inside The Walls Of Honolulu Hale

Housing Honolulu’s Homeless Won’t Come Cheap Under New Plan

Thursday, May 9

Hawaii Prison Chief: Inmate Deaths Are A ‘Crisis On Our Hands’

Wednesday, May 8

Change Of Heart: Mayor’s Office Releases Names Of Executive Staff

Honolulu City Council Pushes Back Against Mayor’s Proposed Budget

Tuesday, May 7

War In Waikiki? The Fight Over The Natatorium Is Far From Over

Friday, May 3

In The End, Hawaii Legislature Shelves Police Misconduct Bill

Wednesday, May 1

Abercrombie Teams With Caldwell To Tear Down Waikiki Natatorium

April 2013

Tuesday, April 30

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Staff Comes With A High Price Tag

Monday, April 29

Not So Public: One Hawaii Law Requires Misconduct Disclosure, One Hides It

Sunday, April 28

Hawaii Public Employee Misconduct Appears To Be In Check, Records Show

Thursday, April 25

Hawaii Auditor: State Oversight Of Mainland Prisons Still Lagging

Tuesday, April 23

Hawaii Spy Case: Did Chinese Girlfriend Lure Secrets From Contractor?

Friday, April 19

It’s Your Money: Rapist Wins $35k From Honolulu After Cops Beat Him Up

Wednesday, April 17

Kauai Chief: ‘Officers We Know Should Not Be Here Are Coming Back’

Tuesday, April 16

Federal Agent On Trial For Murder Boosts Defense Fund Via Internet

Friday, April 12

Honolulu Rail CEO Explains Why He Deserves a $35,000 Bonus

Not So Public: Hawaii Withholds Prison Death Records, Gets Sued

Tuesday, April 9

In The Case Of This Fired Honolulu Cop, The Public Is Still In The Dark

Thursday, April 4

It’s Your Money: Bumpy Roads, Brain Injury And A $1.7 Million Pothole

Can Kirk Caldwell Succeed Where Others Have Failed With Honolulu Homeless?

Tuesday, April 2

Hawaii Judge Says Accused Spy Can Leave Federal Detention Center

March 2013

Friday, March 29

Hawaii Spy Case: Does Benjamin Bishop’s Head Hold Too Many Secrets?

Friday, March 22

Police Misconduct Bill Teeters In Hawaii House Under Union Criticism

Thursday, March 21

Why Is Hawaii The Only State Without A Statewide Police Standards Board?

Tuesday, March 19

City Ethics Enforcement: ‘Fight Against Corruption’ Could Get Cash Infusion

Saturday, March 16

‘Tis The Season: Your Honolulu City Council Budget Primer

Thursday, March 14

Hawaii Police Union Bargains In Secret, Leaves Public Wondering

Tuesday, March 12

Should Suspended Cops Be Identified? Hawaii Records Office Says Yes

Saturday, March 2

Want Nice Roads? Honolulu Mayor Wants You To Pay More At The Pump

Friday, March 1

In The Name Of The Law: Should Police Misconduct Be Public?

At HPD, Domestic Violence Is Not Uncommon But It’s Hard To Track

February 2013

Thursday, February 28

In The Name Of The Law: What The Police Commission Isn’t Doing About Misconduct

Show Us The Money: HPD Wants $2K For Three Files

Hawaii County Releases Cop Misconduct Summaries

Wednesday, February 27

In the Name of the Law: Hawaii Police Union ‘Outguns’ Students

Tuesday, February 26

In the Name of the Law: UH Students vs. The Police

The Verdict: Judge Rules In Favor Of Public Disclosure Of Misconduct

A Test Of Hawaii’s Fledgling Public Records Law

VIDEO: Attorney Jeff Portnoy On The Fight For Misconduct Records

DATABASE: A Compilation Of Honolulu Police Misconduct

Monday, February 25

Only A Few Honolulu Cops Have Lost Their Jobs

Many Of The Required Summaries Are Nowhere To Be Found

Civil Beat Analysis Of Honolulu Police Misconduct

In the Name of the Law: What the Public Isn’t Being Told About Police Misconduct

VIDEO: Police Misconduct – How We Did The Series

Tuesday, February 5

Can Caldwell’s Cabinet Catch Up in Time for Budget Deadline?

January 2013

Thursday, January 17

Caldwell to Hawaii Legislature: Where’s My Money? I Want it Now

Thursday, January 10

Former Hawaii Gov. Cayetano Says He’ll Appeal Rail Ruling