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Sunday, December 6, 2020
Auditor: Prosecutor's Office Did Nothing to Learn from Kealoha Scandal
By News Release @ 3:18 AM :: 3188 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics, Law Enforcement

Audit of the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney's Policies, Procedures, and Controls, Resolution 19-255

From Honolulu City Auditor, Dec 5, 2020

The audit objectives were to:

  • Evaluate the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney’s (PAT) existing policies, procedures, and controls to identify and respond to complaints or incidents concerning misconduct, retaliation, favoritism, and abuses of power by employees;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of PAT’s management control environment and practice elements in correcting and preventing misconduct, retaliation, favoritism, and abuses of power by employees; and
  • Make recommendations to improve and correct measures in PAT department’s policies, procedures, and controls.

Despite the controversy and misconduct allegations in the department, the policies, procedures, and controls have not changed significantly and more needs to be done. We found that management did not initiate a review or evaluation of its policies and procedures that allowed one of its higher-ranking deputy prosecutors to use the office for criminal activity.

Specifically, we found that:

  • The department’s conflict of interest practices are passive and reactive, and rely on voluntary staff disclosure;
  • Supervisory practices for circuit court plea bargains are inconsistent and post-case evaluations are not designed to detect misconduct;
  • The department’s handling of internal complaints is inconsistent and does not effectively identify or address instances of misconduct; and
  • The department’s internal employee complaint process lacks specific guidelines or expectation for how complaints will be addressed.

Click here to read the full report.

Click here to see the report highlights.

CB: Kealoha Scandal Hasn’t Led To Major Reforms At Prosecutor’s Office, Audit Finds 

SA: In scathing report, city auditor rips Honolulu Department of Prosecuting Attorney for its lack of controls  

SA Editorial: Honolulu Prosecutor’s office needs an overhaul

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