Jury rules in favor of police chief’s wife, Kealoha owed $410K in damages

Local News

An ugly family feud involving the police chief’s wife took another turn late Thursday afternoon when jurors awarded Katherine Kealoha $410,000 in damages.

Katherine Kealoha’s grandmother, Florence Puana, and uncle, Gerard Puana, filed a lawsuit saying Kealoha took money from a reverse mortgage she had arranged for Florence Puana’s home in Maunalani Heights.

Florence Puana had asked the jury to award her $1 million in punitive damages. Gerard Puana also sued Kealoha for $70,000 he claims he gave her to invest and for safekeeping.

Kealoha countersued, saying she didn’t owe her grandmother any money from the reverse mortgage, because most of that money went to pay for her uncle’s condominium in Salt Lake. During the trial, Kealoha testified that while her grandmother gave her the power to act on her behalf, she did not exactly know what she meant.

She also said her uncle never gave her money to invest or for safekeeping.

In the end, jurors sided with Kealoha. It took them only a few hours to reach a verdict, read as 95-year-old Florence Puana sat in court holding her son’s hand.

The ruling said the Puanas must pay nearly $249,000 in attorney fees, and $200,000 in general damages and $210,000 in punitive damages to Kealoha.

Neither side would talk after the verdict and there’s no word yet if the Puanas plan to appeal.

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