It’s been a week since Keith Kaneshiro took a leave of absence after confirming he received a target letter in connection to the investigation into his former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her husband former police chief Louis Kealoha.
Thursday the city council got their first chance to question acting Honolulu Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto.
Council members didn’t hesitate to ask the difficult questions on everyone’s mind. The main thing the council called for was transparency within the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
“There were certain checks and balances that were not set, to ensure that some of the alleged activities wouldn’t take place to begin with. You as a new leader in the department and your staff doing to ensure more checks and balances are in place?,” asked council member Kymberly Pine, who represents Ewa Beach and Kapolei.
“I think one thing we can do is that if something like that were to happen, they should come forward to us and let us know ‘Hey this doesn’t seem quite right,'” said Nadamoto.
Nadamoto agreed that Katherine Kealoha’s position in the office may have silenced those who could have spoken against her.
“I would guess the proper channels would have been from Ms. Kealoha, who was a career criminal, to go to district court supervisor… so they, you know, they should have maybe suspected something maybe was not quite right,” said Nadamoto.
Council members suggested that changes should be made to how anonymous reports within the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney should be handled.
“I would hope there’s a formal process that you’re undertaking to give the public more confidence, especially in the prosecutors office and what you guys do day in and out,” said Mike Formby, who represents Kahala, Diamond Head and Waikiki.
“I know it”s a difficult position to pick up now but youv’e been tasked as the members expect that you follow up on creating that sense of work enviornment where there’s more transpearancy and openness,” said Joey Manahan, who represents Kalihi and Salt Lake.
While Nadamoto agreed that changes needed to be made, he did not specify at the meeting what changes he was looking to implement to prevent corruption in the office of the prosecuting attorney.