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Three former Honolulu officials indicted in payout to former HPD Chief Kealoha

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Honolulu Police Department, file photo by Wendy Osher.

The State of Hawaiʻi Organization of Police Officers released a statement today following the federal criminal indictment against three former Honolulu officials.

The indictment was handed down against former city managing director Roy Amemiya (who worked in the capacity between 2015-2021), former Corporation Counsel Donna Leong (2013-2019), and former Honolulu Police Commission Chair Max Sword (2009-2020), accusing the three of allegedly conspiring to “embezzle, steal, obtain by fraud and otherwise without authority” taxpayer dollars to fund a payout made to former Honolulu police Chief Louis Kealoha.

All three reportedly pleaded not guilty

The indictment alleges that the conspirators attempted to omit and conceal, and cause others to omit and conceal details of the Kealoha payout from the City Council and the public. According to the indictment, “It was further part of the conspiracy that the conspirators would and did induce HPD to pay for Kealohaʻs payout from salary funds allocated in HPDʻs budget in order to circumvent City Council approval.”

The $250,000 payout was approved during a Jan. 18, 2017 Honolulu Police Commission meeting during a closed executive session, according to the indictment. “The agreement called for Kealoha to receive a lump sum payment of $250,000, of which $190,000 would be a severance payment, and $60,000 was fees, costs, and expenses.”

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Kealoha has previously been convicted for his role and is currently serving a seven year sentence in a federal prison.

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State of Hawaiʻi Organization of Police Officers President, Robert “Bobby” Cavaco said: “These federal indictments demonstrate no one is above the law and that Honolulu taxpayers deserve justice for being defrauded by these so-called leaders. Our police department is incredibly understaffed and there are not enough patrol officers now to try and keep our neighborhoods safe.”

Cavaco said that for the money was allegedly taken from money budgeted to hire more police officers, and called the accusations “sickening.”

The State of Hawaiʻi Organization of Police Officers represents over 2,600 police officers in the State of Hawaiʻi. Its officers serve in the Honolulu Police Department, Hawaiʻi County Police Department, Maui County Police Department, and Kaua’i County Police Department.

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