Convicted ex-police chief files for divorce
By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
The Associated Press
HONOLULU — A retired Honolulu police chief convicted of conspiracy in Hawaii’s biggest corruption case wants a divorce from his wife and co-defendant, a former deputy city prosecutor.
Louis Kealoha filed for divorce Tuesday, according to court records.
A jury in June convicted him and Katherine Kealoha of conspiracy in a plot to frame her uncle to keep him from revealing fraud that financed their lavish lifestyle.
Prosecutors said during the trial that the Kealohas framed the uncle for stealing their home mailbox because they wanted to maintain their power and prestige.
Katherine Kealoha’s uncle Gerard Puana and her grandmother had sued her, alleging she stole money from them in a reverse mortgage scheme. She then conspired to frame Puana for stealing the mailbox so no one would believe him, prosecutors said.
Jurors watched a deposition of Kealoha’s grandmother, Florence Puana, describing the reverse mortgage scheme that forced her to sell the family home her husband built. The now-100-year-old grandmother wasn’t able to testify in person because of her failing health.
After the Kealohas were convicted, a judge ordered Katherine Kealoha detained. Her husband was allowed to remain free on bond.
The Kealohas are facing another trial for bank fraud and identity theft.
Prosecutors say Katherine Kealoha bilked banks, relatives and children whose trusts she controlled.
The Kealohas have pleaded not guilty, and a trial is scheduled for January. An attorney for Katherine Kealoha has said they are negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors.
Katherine Kealoha faces a third trial on drug-dealing charges with her pain physician brother. She and her brother, Dr. Rudolph Puana, have pleaded not guilty.
The Kealohas have often arrived at court together holding hands and wearing color-coordinated outfits.
The two met while getting their master’s degrees in criminal justice administration at Chaminade University, a small Catholic school in Honolulu, according to a 2010 Mid-Week newspaper article about how the new chief was instilling Native Hawaiian values while leading the police force.
Court hearings have aired evidence of Katherine Kealoha allegedly lavishing bilked money on a firefighter lover.
According to his divorce complaint, Louis Kealoha is representing himself. Under the section “grounds,” Kealoha checked the box for “The marriage is irretrievably broken.”
The Kealohas have a college-aged daughter.
Defense attorneys for the Kealohas couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.