HONOLULU (KHON2) — Disgraced former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha said he’s doing his best to redeem himself in prison, but victims to whom he and his wife owe thousands in restitution want assurances of payback.

In a rare glimpse into Kealoha’s life behind bars, Kealoha explained what he’s been doing, where his considerable pension has been going and his regrets about the crimes for which he’s serving time.

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For years he was Honolulu’s top cop, now he’s prisoner 06015-122 at the federal detention center in Sheridan, Oregon.

In a letter from behind bars, he said “Over the past two years in prison I have reflected… and realized I should have done more to stop the situation from escalating.”

The situation? He and his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine Kealoha, along with Honolulu Police Department officers, framed Katherine’s uncle Gerard Puana in a mailbox theft hoax partially as cover in a financial fraud that cost Katherine’s grandmother Florence Puana her home and savings.

“My lack of judgment has cost me almost everything I have worked for in all of my life,” Louis Kealoha wrote, in a letter asking a federal judge for help avoiding a default judgment for damages in a federal lawsuit brought by the Puanas.

While Kealoha is serving time, almost every dime of his city pension is going elsewhere.

“It has all been going to restitution for the last year or so,” explained Eric Seitz, an attorney representing the Puanas in the lawsuit. “It took a long time. Monthly, the grandma’s trust, gets about $2,200. Gerard gets about $800 or $900.”

Gerard, and Florence’s trust, got $2.85 million from the city in the federal case, plus much smaller amounts from some of the other HPD officers involved in the scheme.

“We want some sort of a judgment against Louis and Katherine, which is going to be held over their heads when they got out of prison,” Seitz said. “Otherwise, it ends and they just pick up their lives and they go on with however they wish.”

Kealoha’s letter was prompted by plaintiffs seeking an evidentiary hearing on damages and to get a default judgment.

Kealoha writes that the court-ordered obligation to pay restitution “places a hardship on me because I am falling behind on paying my bills and trying to avoid bankruptcy.”

“Katherine, of course, has paid nothing,” Seitz said. “Louis has been paying his pension while he’s a guest to the government, and that will continue, but once he gets out of prison, there is no recourse against him as far as I know.”

Kealoha’s letter asks the court for help navigating what’s next and said, “I am doing my best to redeem myself” and “rehabilitate myself.”

He said he’s helping other inmates earn their G.E.D.s, delivers the Sunday sermon for Christian ministry and helps other inmates adjust to prison life.

“That’s certainly to his credit, and eventually would inure to his benefit in terms of getting good-time credits in prison and getting out earlier,” Seitz said. “But it certainly doesn’t address the evil that he and his wife were responsible for, and the number of people that they hurt before they got to this point.

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“He hurt some people pretty badly, and he damaged some institutions very seriously. His two-page letter saying that he’s trying to come to grips with what he did, it’s just not a very adequate or sufficient explanation,” Seitz added.