Hawaii corruption probe expands, former prosecuting attorney indicted

As most Republicans dread and the left salivates over the possibility that former President Donald Trump might be criminally indicted for his supposed part in the January 6 Capitol breach, an actual scandal has expanded in Hawaii as a corruption probe caused a former prosecuting attorney to turn himself into the FBI Friday. 

Keith Mitsuyoshi Kaneshiro was indicted after he surrendered on charges of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and federal program bribery and conspiracy against rights, according to the local Fox affiliate.

The investigation into Kaneshiro started in 2018, when he received a target letter as part of a probe that has already resulted in indictment and conviction of former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha.

Following the letter, Kaneshiro was put on leave until his term expired in 2020.

Wrongful prosecution

Three other people connected to the Mitsunaga and Associates engineering firm were also indicted for their part in an alleged scheme to violate the civil rights of a former employee of the firm.

After the employee was fired in 2014, he sued for age discrimination. Kaneshiro then prosecuted him for four counts of theft at the firm’s request.

The firm alleged that the employee billed it for time spent working on jobs for other companies, and used firm resources including email and phone to do that work.

Now, the FBI alleges that the employee’s prosecution was not legitimate and that Kaneshiro might have worked with the firm to retaliate for the lawsuit, or otherwise unlawfully prosecuted the employee.

The charges against the employee were dropped in 2017.

Political connection?

Dennis Mitsunaga, 78, president and CEO of Mitsunaga & Associates, was one of the others indicted, and was a prolific political donor, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The others indicted were also political donors.

All four defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial is scheduled to be held in August.

Latest News