David Shapiro: How did handcuffs become Honolulu’s new jewelry craze?

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Video clip of previous town Company Counsel Donna Leong remaining handcuffed and perp-walked into FBI places of work to be served a federal conspiracy indictment epitomized a sorry time period of metropolis governance.

As with other corruption conditions associated with jailed former police Main Louis Kealoha and his prosecutor wife, Katherine, the feds are addressing alleged malfeasance that community authorities had every rationale to suspect but dismissed.

Leong, the leading town legal professional under former Mayor Kirk Caldwell, faces charges together with Caldwell’s Taking care of Director Roy Amemiya and former Police Fee Chairman Max Sword in excess of a controversial $250,000 payout to Louis Kealoha when he retired as the U.S. attorney closed in.

The indictment billed they illegally redirected police money supposed to employ the service of new officers to pay Kealoha and conspired to parcel the payments to avert demanded approval of the Metropolis Council, allegedly referred to by Sword as the “nine bananas.”

Fears about the payment have been no secret at the time to the Council, Caldwell or town and condition prosecutors, but none acted. The U.S. attorney investigated because federal resources have been included.

Then-acting Police Main Cary Okimoto publicly objected to the payment. He and his deputies advised the Law enforcement Fee, Council and Caldwell administration that HPD didn’t have resources to protect the outlay, and expressed belief that Council acceptance was expected. His concerns have been protected in the media.

The indictment alleged Okimoto was pressured by defendants to fall his objections and conceal the real source of the money to stay clear of Council involvement, with a warning from Amemiya that he was “burning bridges.”

Okimoto was not on the listing of finalists for long term chief and retired.

Leong’s legal professional reported the payout was essential to “expeditiously independent previous chief Kealoha from HPD,” but there was no purpose to hurry.

Kealoha was by now on leave, and police commissioners could have just fired him for trigger, of which they had plenty. He may well have sued, but so what? You really don’t use community income to pay off crooks without a combat.

Caldwell is functioning for governor, and his attorney explained he would “be intrigued in the coming times and months to have an understanding of the rates that have been brought.”

He regarded as himself a hands-on mayor, and Amemiya and Leong ended up among his closest aides, fueling speculation about his awareness of the transaction.

Caldwell refused to set Amemiya on leave soon after he been given a federal focus on letter, and Councilman Calvin Say later employed Amemiya as an aide to raise his town pension irrespective of the possible pending indictment.

Although community leaders regarded $250,000 as no massive offer, the U.S. lawyer rightly took a dim watch of good technique remaining overtly circumvented to hand out federal income to a before long-to-be felon.

The defendants will get a reasonable listening to on their harmless pleas, but in federal court docket there’s minor hope of a welcoming ruling from a regional judge, these kinds of as Honolulu Prosecutor Steven Alm instructed was the situation in the current dismissal of drunken driving costs in opposition to condition Rep. Sharon Har.


Arrive at David Shapiro at volcanicash@gmail.com.


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