Police chief search may be delayed; commission nominates citizens panel candidates

We may have to wait a bit longer to find out who Honolulu’s next police chief is.

The Honolulu Police Commission hoped to have one hired by July. Instead, the final selection may not be until late August or early September.

We’ve learned the commission is waiting for the approval to hire a consultant.

“It’s called procurement,” said police commission chair Max Sword. “We have to go through the procurement process with the city.”

Sword explained the consultant will be in charge of setting up the process that the citizens assessment panel will be part of.

This week, the commission picked 13 nominees to be part of the panel, who are everyday people that will help rank the candidates for Honolulu police chief.

The position was recently vacated by Louis Kealoha, who retired early amid a federal investigation into corruption that also involves his wife, city deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.

Sword says hiring the consultant is the only real setback, and the commission is back on track on the hiring process.

That includes choosing who will be part of the citizens panel. Each of the seven commissioners turned in two nominees, except for Justice Steven Levinson, who turned in one.

The list includes:

  • Beth Chapman, reality TV star and wife of Dog the Bounty Hunter
  • Ryan Yamane, Hawaii State Representative
  • Chris Wo, C.S. Wo & Sons owner
  • Duane Miyashiro, former HPD officer and current attorney
  • Nanci Kriedman, CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Center
  • Mufi Hannemann, former Honolulu mayor
  • Helena Manzano, Crime Victim Compensation Commission
  • Greg Gilmartin, retired FBI agent
  • Peter Fong, attorney
  • Bonny Amemiya, CFO of aio
  • Michael Broderick, president, YMCA of Honolulu
  • Lee Donohue, retired Honolulu Police Chief
  • Phyllis Horner, vice president, Servo Pacific

Sword chose Rep. Ryan Yamane and Beth Chapman as his picks, and defended his choice of the reality star.

“She is a controversial figure, but I knew the others in the commission would pick a good solid list. I just looked at it purely as someone who deals with the police day in and day out,” he said.

Once the five panelists are chosen, the public won’t know who they are until after their jobs are done.

“The reason why is once candidates know who they are or people know who they are, (it’s a) small town and these people have good names,” Sword said.

Sword says the actual role of the Citizen’s Assessment Panel isn’t clear, because the commission hasn’t hired the consultant to create the tests that candidates vying for chief must take.

“There’s some confusion as to what the assessment panel does. They don’t pick the chief. They’re basically helping the assessor to evaluate and administer the test and so forth for the candidates,” said Sword.

Sword expects the consultant to be hired by the end of May.

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