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Ex-police chief gets time for vaccine before going to prison

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — A retired Honolulu police chief convicted of conspiracy in a tangled corruption case doesn’t have to report to prison until June so that he can get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Louis Kealoha was scheduled to surrender next month to begin serving a seven-year prison term. A U.S. judge on Tuesday extended that date to June 1 after Kealoha’s lawyer said the ex-chief would like to be vaccinated before going to a correctional institution in Oregon.

Kealoha, 60, is not yet eligible to be vaccinated in Hawaii, where those who are 65 years and older may get vaccines.

Kealoha and his now-estranged wife, a former high-ranking Honolulu prosecutor, were sentenced in November for using his position as chief to frame a relative for a crime he didn’t commit in Hawaii’s biggest corruption case. Katherine Kealoha, who prosecutors said stole money from her own grandmother to support the couple’s lavish lifestyle, was sentenced to 13 years in prison. She’s incarcerated at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Janaki Chopra argued that Kealoha should begin his sentence as scheduled. She said the Federal Bureau of Prisons is vaccinating inmates where Kealoha is headed.