City Managing Director Amemiya gets federal subject letter and testifies to grand jury

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu County’s Managing Director Roy Amemiya has received a subject letter from the U.S. Department of Justice and had to testify before a federal grand jury Thursday, July 30.

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Amemiya’s attorney says Amemiya is not a target of the federal investigation and has not been accused of committing any crime.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s spokesperson told KHON2 that Amemiya continues to serve as managing director.

“The government had requested that Mr. Amemiya not disclose information concerning the existence of the federal investigation, and to date, he has abided by that request,” said attorney Lyle Hosoda on behalf of Amemiya. “Mr. Amemiya is not a ‘target’ of the federal investigation and has not been accused of committing any crime. The ‘subject’ of an investigation is a person whose conduct is within the scope of the investigation. Mr. Amemiya has not committed any crime. His designation as a ‘subject’ is not a surprise, given that Mr. Amemiya is a high-level city official.”

“We take this matter seriously and look forward to a timely resolution,” a spokesperson for Mayor Caldwell said. “Roy Amemiya continues to serve as managing director where he is essential to the initiatives that we have undertaken for the people of the City and County of Honolulu. He has performed, as is performing, honorably, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Mayor’s Office said they know of no other elected, appointed or civil-service staff who recently received target or subject letters from the feds. In past years, there was a rash of them. Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro and City Corporation Counsel Donna Leong both went on paid leave in 2019 after receiving target letters. Others in the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney received subject letters.

Federal subpoenas and a search warrant related to a rail investigation also involved the city and rail authority staff last year.

Former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and former Police Chief Louis Kealoha, and others, were convicted of conspiracy and other charges last fall.

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