Firefighter accused of lying to grand jury in Honolulu case

HONOLULU (AP) — A Big Island firefighter is accused of lying to a federal grand jury about his relationship with the Honolulu deputy prosecutor in the fraud and corruption case against her and her police chief husband.

Documents filed in federal court Monday claim Katherine Kealoha paid for hotels and airline tickets with money illegally obtained to fly Hawaii County firefighter Jesse Ebersole from Hilo to Honolulu.

Ebersole has been charged with conspiracy to obstruct after authorities claim he gave false testimony, according to the court documents.

Katherine Kealoha and former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha are awaiting trials on bank fraud and corruption allegations.

Katherine Kealoha met with the firefighter before he testified and “would coach Ebersole on how to falsely respond to questions posed to him in the grand jury,” according to the documents.

Katherine Kealoha had spent more than $20,000 on the secret relationship with funds stolen from her grandmother and from a second mortgage she and her husband had fraudulently obtained, according to the documents.

Ebersole had testified in April 2017 that he and Kealoha were “just friends.” In October 2017, he testified that he did not have a romantic relationship with her and he did not know why airline tickets were in his name on Kealoha’s credit card statement.

Ebersole’s attorney declined to comment to Hawaii News Now on Monday. Kealoha’s attorney also declined to comment.