- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - The Honolulu police chief’s wife has received a delay in a lawsuit accusing her of stealing money from her grandmother and uncle as she seeks to have a conservator appointed for her grandmother.

Katherine Kealoha, a deputy in the Honolulu prosecutor’s office and wife of police chief Louis Kealoha, is being sued by her 95-year-old grandmother and an uncle over money they say she took from a joint account. A trial was to have started Tuesday, but instead lawyers will gather to set a new trial date.

Katherine Kealoha is on indefinite unpaid leave from the prosecutor’s office

She successfully got a stay of Tuesday’s hearing while she seeks from state Probate Court to have a conservator appointed for her grandmother, Florence Puana, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://is.gd/VluiTQ).

Katherine Kealoha is asking the court to appoint someone other than her uncle Gerard Puana. She says in the petition that her grandmother is unable to effectively manage her business affairs. A hearing was set for late January.

Gerard Puana has been charged in the federal court system with stealing the chief’s mailbox from his home. A federal judge declared a mistrial in that case earlier this month when Louis Kealoha unexpectedly testified about Puana’s criminal past.

Puana’s public defender, Alexander Silvert, alleged the Kealohas framed Puana in the mailbox case to discredit him in his lawsuit against Katherine Kealoha. A new trial in the mailbox case was set for May 27.

According to the Puanas’ lawsuit, Katherine Kealoha helped her grandmother get a reverse mortgage on her home to pay for a condo. Disbursements of more than $513,000 were put in an account that Katherine Kealoha shared with her grandmother, while the condo cost about $376,000. The lawsuit alleges Katherine Kealoha has failed to account for the difference.

Records in the lawsuit show expenditures including more than $2,000 for Elton John tickets, $4,000 for a Mercedes Benz lease payment and nearly $24,000 for her husband’s police chief induction breakfast at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Katherine Kealoha denies the allegation.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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