- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 20, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - The Latest on the Honolulu police chief placing himself on restrictive duty amid an investigation (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha has surrendered his gun and badge while he is on paid leave after receiving notice that he is the target of a federal investigation.

Police Commission Chairman Max Sword said Tuesday it was Kealoha’s decision to temporarily step down. Earlier in the day, Kealoha said in a statement that he placed himself on restricted duty but wouldn’t leave the department because doing so would “give credence to the baseless attacks.”

Deputy Chief Cary Okimoto is acting chief.

Okimoto says four other police officers received so-called “target letters.” A federal grand jury is looking into allegations of corruption and civil rights abuses.

Sword says Kealoha is on leave for 30 days while the police commission decides on what action to take. The commissioners will meet on Jan. 4.

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9:15 a.m.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha says leaving the department would “give credence to the baseless attacks,” even though there’s no “economic advantage” to staying on.

He says in a statement Tuesday he’s voluntarily placing himself on restricted duty.

The department issued the statement after Kealoha’s attorney confirmed the chief received notification that he’s the target for a federal grand jury investigation.

News reports say several other officers received similar notices and are expected to be placed on restricted duty.

Retired officer Niall Silva pleaded guilty Friday to falsifying documents and altering evidence. The case involved Kealoha, his deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine, and her uncle, Gerard Puana.

Puana says his niece accused him of stealing the chief’s mailbox in 2013 amid a family dispute over money and that authorities then attempted to frame him.

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3:20 a.m.

Honolulu police Chief Louis Kealoha has voluntarily placed himself on restrictive duty after being notified that he is the target of a federal grand jury investigation.

Kealoha’s attorney, Myles Breiner, said Monday the police chief has “done nothing wrong” and that the letter he received about the investigation was intended to intimidate his client.

Several other police officers have received similar notices and are expected to also be placed on restrictive duty.

Monday’s announcement comes after retired officer Niall Silva pleaded guilty Friday to falsifying documents and altering evidence. The case involved Kealoha, his deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine, and her uncle, Gerard Puana.

Puana says his niece accused him of stealing the chief’s mailbox in 2013 amid a family dispute over money and that authorities then attempted to frame him.


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