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Criminal case against Kealohas puts brakes on uncle’s suit

HONOLULU (AP) — A civil lawsuit against a former Honolulu police chief and his wife is on hold as a criminal case against them proceeds.

A U.S. magistrate judge on Monday put a four-month hold on Gerard Puana’s lawsuit against his niece Katherine Kealoha and her husband, Louis Kealoha.

His lawsuit accuses former the former police chief, his deputy city prosecutor wife and police officers of malicious prosecution.

The Kealohas pleaded not guilty to charges that they framed Puana to discredit him in a financial dispute.

The freeze comes after a motion in the criminal case seeking to disqualify Kevin Sumida and another lawyer who have represented the Kealohas. Sumida is also representing the Kealohas in the civil suit.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang set a hearing for March in Puana’s lawsuit.

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