Hawaiʻi County Fire Chief Darren J. Rosario issued a statement today following a federal indictment against department Battalion Chief Jesse Ebersole.
Ebersole was charged with conspiracy for allegedly lying to a grand jury about an alleged romantic relationship with Katherine Kealoha, the wife of former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha. Court documents note that the two were part of the Pacific Century Fellows program in 2009.
According to court documents, federal prosecutors allege that Katherine Kealoha withdrew funds to pay for Ebersole’s air travel and hotel stays in Honolulu, with financial benefits to Ebersole totaling more than $20,000.
The funds were allegedly misappropriated loan proceeds from an account that was established to help Kealoha’s grandmother purchase a condominium for her son.
Battalion Chief Ebersole is a 25 year veteran of the Hawai’i Fire Department and was promoted to the position of Battalion Chief of the Emergency Medical Services Bureau on April 1, 2018. He is currently on paid leave status.
“During his career he was directly involved with the saving of many lives,” said Chief Rosario. “As this incident involves federal charges and an open investigation, there will be no further comment from my office.”