Attorney says Chief Kealoha will face police commission at Friday’s meeting

Honolulu’s chief of police will get the chance to address members of the Honolulu Police Commission when it meets Friday.

In an exclusive interview, attorney Myles Breiner told KHON2 Louis Kealoha was not allowed to attend Wednesday’s meeting, when the commission discussed Kealoha’s future.

Commissioners spent over two hours in executive session, discussing whether they would fire or keep Kealoha as head of the police department. Chair Max Sword said no decision was made and the discussion would continue Friday.

His explanation for the holdup was that they were waiting for more information before making a decision, but wouldn’t elaborate on what that information was.

Breiner says the commission reached out late Wednesday afternoon to ask Kealoha to attend Friday’s meeting. He says the commission will likely question his client on what’s best for HPD, the city, and for Kealoha.

“Was Chief Kealoha allowed to be in the meeting (Wednesday) with the police commission?” KHON2 asked.

“No, he was not, much to our surprise. We believe in transparency. The chief should have had the opportunity to address the board. Fortunately, he will have an opportunity (Friday),” Breiner said. “He’s going to have an opportunity to hear what the board has to say. What comes out of that is anyone’s guess. Hopefully he’ll have an opportunity to address, perhaps down the road, any issues that are unresolved after the meeting that’s scheduled.”

Last month, the police chief placed himself on restricted duty after learning he was a target in a federal investigation.

A federal grand jury is investigating claims of corruption at HPD over an alleged mailbox theft involving the chief’s wife, city deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.

The seven commissioners agreed to place the chief on leave indefinitely until they decide whether Kealoha stays or goes.

“Does the police commission want the chief to resign?” KHON2 asked.

“I can’t answer that question,” Breiner replied. “I know that obviously they’ve placed him on restricted duty. They’ve indicated indefinitely remove from his position. I know the chief, as I’ve said numerous times, he lives and breathes law enforcement. His entire career has been public service. Certainly this is not a pleasant experience for him. He feels he is being unfairly targeted. Hopefully the board will have a chance to explore all this with him in person.”

The meeting begins at 11:30 a.m. Friday and we’re told a decision will be made regarding the chief’s status.

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