HIGH-PROFILE OUSTERS CAST A SHADOW ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY
TOUGH QUESTIONS MUST BE ASKED
News Release from Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, January 10, 2020
HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I — This week, the Honolulu Police Commission ousted vocal Kealoha critic, Loretta Sheehan, from her Chair position. Additionally, it was reported that the Federal Public Defender for 24 years, Peter Wolff, who originally exposed the crimes of former City Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and former Chief of Police Louis Kealoha, will also be ousted from his job.
“We are facing unprecedented corruption at all levels of government,” said Councilmember Kym Pine. These dismissals show clearly that this is not a time for Aloha as stated by the Police Commission members this week. Rather, this is a time for everyone to raise concerns and ask the tough questions that will make the City what it is supposed to be—an entity that serves the public, not private interests and agendas.”
“Now, more than ever, all agencies involved in enforcing laws and ensuring public trust and confidence should foster and encourage transparency and accountability. The people of the City and County of Honolulu deserve nothing less and they are tired of the corruption,” said Pine.
Sheehan was the only member of the Commission to vote against the $250,000 retirement payout for disgraced Louis Kealoha while he was under investigation. Councilmember Pine also publicly spoke against the payment. Now, with Kealoha’s conviction and escalating legal fees, the City will likely never be reimbursed for this payout by Kealoha, as required by law.
Despite overwhelming approval for his job performance by many in the local legal community, a panel of judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit made a confidential decision not to reinstate Peter Wolff as federal public defender for the District of Hawai‘i. He served the Federal Public Defender’s office for 24 years and was one of the first to expose the Kealoha crimes.
Councilmember Kym Pine represents residents of District One, comprising portions of ‘Ewa Villages and ‘Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Makakilo, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko ‘Olina, Nānākuli, Mā‘ili, Wai‘anae, Mākaha, Kea‘au and Makua) and is chair of the City Council’s Committee on Business Economic Development and Tourism.