HONOLULU (KHON2) — Newly elected Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm held a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to unveil his 100-day plan to reform the Department of the Prosecuting attorney.
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Alm enters the role at a critical time when public trust in the office hangs in the balance following the criminal scandal involving former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.
Alm introduced his new deputies and division chiefs along with unveiling his plan.
Alm says, the office also conducted an audit which was recommended by the city council to see if Kealoha had any involvement in any of the currently pending cases.
“To see whether she had a direct role, an indirect role, was the case assigned to her, or did she have any contact with it at all?” said Alm.
He says, he chose not to reappoint eight people from the previous administration under Keith Kaneshiro, who received a target letter from federal investigators in 2019. No charges have been filed against Kaneshiro.
“It’s a really good and reassuring piece of information that the vast majority of deputies, I am confident had anything to do with the improprieties, any of the illegalities that may have gone on here. If I ever find out anything about it, we will take swift effective action,” said Alm.
Alm says about his strategy to keep Honolulu safe, he wants to be more aggressive on certain crimes like child sex trafficking and domestic violence. Alm says, he will support HPD to make sure the recent home invasion crimes that targeted elderly victims are fully investigated and the suspects are punished.
“To me they fit into the definition of people that are dangerous. If they’re going into these houses when people are there, it scares the heck out of people. They shouldn’t have to put up with that, so somebody doing that kind of thing should go to prison,” said Alm.
He adds that crime in general is down in 2021 compared to 2021, but with so many people home during the pandemic, home invasions seem to be happening more often. He says, neighbors need to look out for each other to help prevent the robberies, but he also plans to be aggressive in convicting those who commit them.
“If they’re choosing to victimize others this way, then I think they’re giving up the right to live among us for a few years, then they should go to prison,” said Alm.
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