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 2015

Tuesday, December 29

Convicted Killer Loses Prosecutorial Misconduct Appeal

Wednesday, December 23

Espero: Still Pushing For More Citizen Oversight Of The Police

Tuesday, December 22

HART OKs New Contract For Rail Stations

What Could $1.5 Billion Buy You (Besides More Of The Rail Project)?

Thursday, December 17

Caldwell (Finally) Speaks Out About Kealoha

Rail Contracts Delayed Until Tax Passes

City Government Gets Burned In H-POWER Audit

Tuesday, December 15

Police Union Renews Body Cam Threat

Monday, December 14

Hawaii’s Ivory Market Could Soon Be Largest In U.S.

Friday, December 11

HPD Beating Caught On Tape

Thursday, December 10

Kauai Police Chief Vows To Implement Body Cams Despite Union Concerns

Wednesday, December 9

City Council Considers Killing Proposed Cap On Honolulu Rail Tax

Friday, December 4

When Half A Train Is Better Than None

Thursday, December 3

Molasses Fine Adds To $10M Haul By Feds

Wednesday, December 2

Did Fraud Lead to Maui Murder Conviction?

November 2015

Tuesday, November 24

Honolulu Rail Budget In Limbo Until City Council Acts

Monday, November 23

Under The Microscope: Honolulu Included In Federal Rail Audit

Wednesday, November 18

Honolulu Rail Tax Extension Gets Preliminary OK

Tuesday, November 17

HART Finds Savings With Latest Honolulu Rail Bids

Monday, November 16

Caldwell: Honolulu Would Be ‘Lolo’ To Imperil Its Federal Funds for Rail

Friday, November 13

Caldwell: Feds Withholding Honolulu Rail Funds Until Council Acts

Thursday, November 12

Goodbye Ansaldo, Hello Hitachi

State Senator Vows To Reform Hawaii Asset Forfeiture Laws

Is Honolulu Rail Project’s Future At Stake In Dispute Over Council’s Budget Role?

Wednesday, November 11

Report: Hawaii’s Police Property Seizures Ripe For Abuse

Tuesday, November 10

VIDEO: Are These Honolulu Cops Acting Appropriately?

Monday, November 9

Caldwell Urges Council Not To Cap GET Surcharge For Rail

Thursday, November 5

Martin to HART: Is It Time For A Shake-Up?

Wednesday, November 4

Honolulu Pays $190K To Settle Jailhouse Death Lawsuit

Tuesday, November 3

Is The Honolulu Ethics Commission Going After Director Chuck Totto?

Who Should Be In Charge of Running Honolulu’s Rail?

October 2015

Thursday, October 29

Honolulu Police, The FBI And The So-Called ‘Ferguson Effect’

Wednesday, October 28

Calls Grow For Reforms To Boost Police Accountability

Tuesday, October 27

Arrests Of Lesbians Spur Lawsuit, Internal Affairs Investigation

Wednesday, October 21

Honolulu Police Commission ‘Knows Nothing’ About HPD Chief Probe

City Budget Committee Mulls Tougher Line, Possible Cap on Rail Spending

Honolulu Rail’s Big Cash Problem

Tuesday, October 20

Lawsuit: Coverup In Honolulu Police Custody Death

At Sea, Merely Observing Can Be Risky Business

Friday, October 16

Ex-HPD Officer Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison for Attacks

Honolulu Rail Project Eclipses $6.5 Billion

Thursday, October 15

Police Secrecy A Nationwide Problem

Who’s the Special Prosecutor Investigating the Honolulu Police Chief?

Monday, October 12

Kirk Caldwell’s Many ‘Tokens of Aloha’ Came From Influential Parties

Friday, October 9

Honolulu Police Chief Sues Ethics Commission to Stop Probe

Thursday, October 8

Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed Against Honolulu Rail Contractor

Friday, October 2

Hawaii Innocence Project: ‘Justice Is A Matter of the Heart’

September 2015

Wednesday, September 30

The Mysterious Disappearance of an American Fisheries Observer

Thursday, September 24

HPD Ignores ‘Toothless’ Police Commission in Use of Force Case

Friday, September 18

Gifts Given to Honolulu Officials Remain Under Wraps

Tuesday, September 15

Higher Costs and More Delays on the Way for Honolulu Rail

Monday, September 14

Honolulu Police Officer Sued For Killing Mentally Ill Man

Sunday, September 13

Spotty Oversight Found At Secretive Biolabs

Friday, September 11

Honolulu Rail Consultant Under Ethics Probe for Boat Trip with Contractor

Tuesday, September 8

Lawsuit Seeks New City Council Votes on Honolulu Rail

Did Political Donations Influence Honolulu City Council’s Hoopili Vote?

Wednesday, September 2

When Cops Become Criminals: Arrests of HPD Officers Point to a ‘Culture of Corruption’

August 2015

Thursday, August 27

HART Pushes Back When Company Seeks to Withdraw Low Construction Bid

Monday, August 24

Massive Honolulu Sewer Spill Shuts Down Waikiki Beach

Former Hawaii Gov Linda Lingle Settles Into New Role

Thursday, August 20

Key Rail Contractor Tangled Up in Fraud Allegations in Hawaii Courts

Wednesday, August 12

Amnesty International Calls For Decriminalizing Sex Work

Thursday, August 6

Cashing In: Early Election-Season Filings Show Campaign Cash Trickling In

July 2015

Friday, July 31

Assault Charges Filed Against Honolulu Police Officer

Wednesday, July 29

Mayor Hires ‘Fresh Set of Eyes’ to Monitor Honolulu Rail Project

Tuesday, July 28

Judge Rules in Favor of Secret Government Deliberations

An Innocent Man? Convicted Killer Says Maui Officials Destroyed or Lost Crucial Evidence

Monday, July 20

HPD Taser Case: Did Officers Follow Protocol When Sheldon Haleck Died?

Wednesday, July 15

Honolulu Rail Project Gets a Boost as Ige Signs GET Extension Bill

Tuesday, July 14

Autopsy: Honolulu Man Dies After ‘Violent Physical Struggle’ With Cops

Thursday, July 9

Friend or Foe? Kathryn Xian Has Become a Problem for Anti-Trafficking Advocates

Thursday, July 2

How Old Is Too Old for a Cop?

June 2015

Tuesday, June 30

WATCH: Taser Video Shows Final Minutes Before Sheldon Haleck Died in Police Custody

Monday, June 29

Sex Trafficking Veto Sets Stage for Comprehensive Reform

Friday, June 26

Did Kirk Caldwell Mislead the Legislature on Rail Taxes?

Thursday, June 25

More HPD Officers Face Federal Charges in Beating Case

Wednesday, June 24

Honolulu Ethics Commission to Director Chuck Totto: Shut Up

Tuesday, June 23

Don Horner Gets Another Go on Honolulu Rail Board

Monday, June 22

Caldwell Slams Political Rival for Meddling With City Budget

The Death of Aaron Torres: ‘What’s the Big Secret?’

Thursday, June 18

Hawaii’s High Court Considers Whether Police Misconduct Should Be Public

Tuesday, June 16

A Ray of Hope for Honolulu Rail?

Friday, June 12

Why Are the Autopsy Results for Man Tasered by Honolulu Police Still a Secret?

Thursday, June 11

Rail Operating Costs: A Looming Financial Crisis That Will Cost Taxpayers Billions

Wednesday, June 10

Contractor Campaign Contributions Raise Concerns of Corruption

Monday, June 8

Hawaii Police Have Killed More People Per Capita Than Most of the U.S.

Friday, June 5

New Honolulu Deputy City Clerk Is Raising Eyebrows

Wednesday, June 3

Honolulu City Council Overrides Caldwell, Expands Sit-Lie

Monday, June 1

Hanabusa Picked to Help Monitor Honolulu Rail Project

Antiquated Law Spares Lobbyists in Honolulu Ethics Scandal

May 2015

Wednesday, May 27

Honolulu Prosecutor Drops Sex Assault Charges for Massage Parlor Workers

Wednesday, May 20

Ban Upheld on Political Donations by Government Contractors

Tuesday, May 19

HPD Officer Blames ‘Temper’ For Chinatown Attack

Obama: No More Grenade Launchers for Local Cops

Monday, May 18

Honolulu Prosecutor to Hawaii Governor: Veto the Sex Trafficking Bill

Friday, May 15

Robert ‘Bobby’ Bunda Stepping Down from HART Board

Wednesday, May 13

Inside the Rail Checkbook: More than $1 Billion Spent but Few Details to Go Along With It

Friday, May 8

Honolulu Police Chief Under Ethics Probe Over Missing Mailbox

Wednesday, May 6

HPD Officer Charged In Police Brutality Case

Tuesday, May 5

Honolulu Rail Tax Extension Clears the Legislature

Council Chair: No ‘Easy Sell’ for Honolulu Rail Tax

Friday, May 1

Honolulu Rail Tax Lives Another Day, Heads For Floor Vote

HPD Posts Policies, Including For Use of Force, Online

April 2015

Wednesday, April 29

Deal on Honolulu Rail Tax Remains Up in the Air

Tuesday, April 28

Hirono, Ige To Attend White House Dinner With Japan’s Prime Minister

Monday, April 27

Roads for Rail? Hawaii Senators Pitch New Tax Idea

Thursday, April 23

Work on Rail Tax Compromise Moves Behind Closed Doors

Wednesday, April 22

Civil Beat Poll: Most Voters Oppose Honolulu Rail Tax Extension

Monday, April 20

Honolulu’s Homeless Population On The Rise

Thursday, April 16

Now You Can Watch HART Meetings In Your Pajamas

Wednesday, April 15

Public Asked For Input on Embattled HPD

Tuesday, April 14

Former New Mexico Police Chief Sues Maui PD For Unlawful Arrest

Monday, April 13

Secret Subcontractors: What Honolulu Rail Officials Aren’t Telling You

Friday, April 10

Caldwell: Honolulu Rail Tax Is Not ‘Chump Change’

Thursday, April 9

Hawaii Charge Card Scandal Prompts Honolulu to Release Info on Its Cards

Tuesday, April 7

Senators Give Honolulu Rail ‘A Great Deal of Opportunity’

Monday, April 6

Is Ige On Board With Extending Honolulu Rail Tax?

Wednesday, April 1

Tension Bubbles Between Honolulu City Council and HART

Lawmaker Frustration Leads to New Call for Rail Audit

March 2015

Monday, March 30

Railing Against Honolulu’s $6 Billion Rail Project

Friday, March 27

Why Can’t We Watch HART Meetings on TV?

Thursday, March 26

Schatz Pushes for Federal Financing of Transit-Oriented Development

Wednesday, March 25

House to HART: Open Up Your Books

Frequent Fliers: Nearly $500K Spent on Rail Travel to Date

Thursday, March 19

Honolulu Rail Tax: How Long Will It Go?

Thursday, March 12

Want To Be A Cop in Hawaii? No License Needed

Monday, March 9

Cayetano: PRP Super PAC Broke Federal Election Law

Wednesday, March 4

Hawaii Legislature: Not So Fast on More Taxes for Rail

Math Problem: Does Honolulu Rail GET Shortfall Really Add Up?

Tuesday, March 3

Honolulu Rail Construction Proposals Millions Higher Than Expected

HPD Officer Caught on Video Slamming Man to the Ground

February 2015

Friday, February 27

In Hawaii, Police Transparency Will Have to Wait

No Political Pedigree: Can Gabbard’s Top Advisor Succeed in D.C.?

Tuesday, February 24

High Marks for Honolulu Police Chief Despite Controversy

Behind Closed Doors: Honolulu Rail Officials Planned Political Strategy in Executive Session

Thursday, February 19

Schatz: Protecting Federal Money for Rail a Top Priority

Thursday, February 12

Embattled UH Cancer Center To Be Part of Medical School

Honolulu Rail Tax Alive, But Ige Still Has Questions

Wednesday, February 11

HART: Rail Could Run Out of Cash By This Summer

Hawaii Lawmakers Seek Cash for Police Body Cameras

Tuesday, February 10

Police Reform Measures Gain Steam in Hawaii Legislature

Tuesday, February 3

Honolulu Police Sent 22 Misconduct Cases to Prosecutors in 2014

Monday, February 2

Large Rail Contractors Dump $1.3 Million into Local Campaign Coffers

January 2015

Friday, January 30

At Least $1.25B Has Been Spent on Rail So Far, But Where Has All the Money Gone?

Friday, January 23

How Can Police Regain the Public’s Trust?

Thursday, January 22

Honolulu Rail Deficit Could Be Closer to $1 Billion

Wednesday, January 21

Hawaii Police Killed At Least 36 People in 20 Years

Tuesday, January 20

Don’t Expect a ‘Co-Chief’ Anytime Soon at HPD

Wednesday, January 14

Attorney: Honolulu Police Chief’s Stolen Mailbox ‘An FBI Matter’

Former HPD Officer Sentenced for Extortion of Hostess Bar

Honolulu Police Chief Under Fire: Can He Survive Legal and Legislative Scrutiny?

Wednesday, January 7

Senators Want Better Management of HPD, Ask For ‘Co-Chiefs’

Star-Ad Editorial: Caldwell Needs To Take Responsibility for Rail