Prosecutor visits office despite leave amid probe
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro is on paid leave because he’s a target in a federal investigation but that hasn’t kept him away from the office.
Acting Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto insisted he’s in charge of day-to-day operations at the office even though Kaneshiro has stopped by several times in the past week, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday.
Nadamoto authorized Kaneshiro’s paid leave earlier this month. Kaneshiro received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice informing him he’s a target in an ongoing corruption investigation. The letter led to calls for Kaneshiro to step down before he ultimately put himself on leave.
The federal investigation has already resulted in indictments against former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, her now-retired police chief husband and current and former police officers. Details about what Kaneshiro is being investigated for have not yet been made public.
Bill McCorriston, a lawyer representing Kaneshiro, has said his client deserves presumption of innocence.
Since going on leave, Kaneshiro was back in his office to pick up personal items and has been blocked from accessing the department’s internal case management system, Nadamoto said.
“He may have been there physically, but he’s not running the office,” Nadamoto said. “He’s never told me what to do, and, as far as I know, when he’s been there he’s only been in his (personal) office.”
State Attorney General Clare Connors, who petitioned the Hawaii Supreme Court to suspend Kaneshiro from practicing law, said he should not be in the office during his leave. Connors withdrew her petition after Kaneshiro announced his leave.
“The acting prosecutor says Mr. Kaneshiro was only allowed in to get his personal effects — however, it was made clear that whatever those personal items are, they should be packed up and sent to Mr. Kaneshiro,” Connors said.