Kealoha agrees to $250K severance; will repay if convicted
The Honolulu Police Commission says that Chief Louis Kealoha will receive $250,000 as a severance payment in exchange for a release of claims arising form the terms and conditions of his employment. This is less than one-half of what he would have earned if he remained as police chief until his term expired on Nov. 27, 2019.
HONOLULU (AP) - The Honolulu Police Commission says that Chief Louis Kealoha will receive $250,000 as a severance payment in exchange for a release of claims arising form the terms and conditions of his employment. This is less than one-half of what he would have earned if he remained as police chief until his term expired on Nov. 27, 2019.
"A key condition of the Agreement is that, if the Chief is convicted of a felony, he will be required to repay the $250,000 to the City. He has said publicly that he has done nothing wrong. To back that up, we asked him to return the money if he is convicted of a felony, and he agreed to do so because he believes he has done nothing wrong," said Police Commission Chair Max Sword.
The commission approved the severance 5-1.
Kealoha agreed to retire due to an investigation by a federal grand jury looking into allegations of civil rights abuses and corruption.
A search warrant was executed last Friday at the city prosecutor's office as part of the investigation. Kealoha had been on paid leave since receiving a letter from the FBI last month.
Kealoha's retirement is effective on March 1. He has 33 years of service in the Honolulu Police Department.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued the following statement today after it was announced the Honolulu Police Commission had reached a retirement agreement with Louis Kealoha:
“As the appointing authority with exclusive oversight of the Chief of Police, the Police Commission reached a retirement agreement with Louis Kealoha that allows the Honolulu Police Department to move forward in its search for a new leader. Failing to resolve this situation in a timely manner could have resulted in further delays and could have cost the taxpayers even more money, as the Police Commission would have been required to follow a termination procedure – if they decided to terminate him – that could have taken weeks, if not months or years, if appeals were taken. Like many residents of Honolulu I’m concerned about the use of taxpayer funds as stated in this agreement, but allowing this situation to linger is not in the best interest of our men and women in blue, or the people of the City and County. I appreciate the fact that, should Kealoha be indicted and found guilty of a felony within six years of the signed agreement, he has agreed to return those funds to the city. I’m confident the Commission will select a new police chief who has the experience and background that will allow HPD to retain its Gold Standard accreditation, while also keeping Honolulu one of the safest big cities in the nation.”