Kealoha turns in badge, temporarily steps down
Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is stepping down for now. On Monday, Kealoha announced he received a target letter from the U.S. Attorney's office.
Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha is stepping down for now.
On Monday, Kealoha announced he received a target letter from the U.S. Attorney's office.
It's an indication he's a suspect in the federal investigation that started with the Kealoha's reporting their mailbox stolen.
It ballooned into a corruption investigation and one former officer admitting he framed one of their relatives.
The chief could face grand jury indictment.
"If you receive a letter from the government that you're a target in an investigation, it's frightening! Be it you're law enforcement or non-law-enforcement, it's still a rather startling thing to happen to you," said Kealoha's attorney Myles Breiner.
The city's top cop will be on a voluntarily leave of absence. It's the first in the department's history the chief has done that.
But it's a decision respected by the police commission chairman.
"To avoid any type of involvement of the chief in the day-to-day...it was good that he left the building and I'm glad that he took that position," said chairman Max Sword.
Deputy Chief Cary Okimoto has assumed the role of chief while Kealoha is gone.
"We are moving on. We are going to continue to work as hard as we can every every day. This is the first big step in that direction," said Okimoto.
The police commission has the power to remove the chief permanently.
Voters gave the commission that power in last month's general election.
The commission is scheduled to meet on January 4.