When the Honolulu Police Commission let Louis Kealoha walk into retirement in 2017 with a $250,000 severance package, it made him promise to give the money back if he were convicted of a felony within six years.

Louis Kealoha arrives at US District Court after plea deal.
The city wants to collect money Louis Kealoha is supposed to pay back. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

Since then, Kealoha was found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction charges in June and recently pleaded guilty to bank fraud. But Kealoha doesn’t appear eager to pay back what he owes.

Now the Honolulu City Council will decide whether to take Kealoha to court to recoup the funds. Introduced by Councilman Ron Menor, Resolution 19-315 would allow the city to “initiate legal action.”

The city sent a letter to Kealoha on Oct. 23 – the day after his guilty plea – demanding repayment of the funds, the resolution states. But Kealoha hasn’t responded.

“The Corporation Counsel is informed and believes that it is necessary to bring legal action(s) against Kealoha to enforce the repayment agreement provisions of the retirement agreement,” the resolution states.

Council members already unanimously approved the resolution in an Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee meeting last week, but neither a copy of the resolution nor the details of what it was about were publicly available at that time. Council members discussed the measure behind closed doors in executive session. The city website says the resolution was “introduced” days after it was voted on.

The resolution has not yet been placed on an agenda for a full council vote.

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