US shutdown could delay Honolulu police corruption trial

HONOLULU — A court-appointed attorney for a former deputy Honolulu prosecutor facing corruption-related charges along with her now-retired police chief husband said she is not being paid during the partial U.S. government shutdown and wants to postpone the trial.

A judge appointed separate taxpayer-funded attorneys for Katherine and Louis Kealoha after determining they couldn’t afford lawyers to represent them against allegations including orchestrating the framing of an uncle in a financial dispute.

Cynthia Kagiwada, who represents Katherine Kealoha, said in a court filing she’s not being paid during the shutdown, now in its fourth week, depriving her client of adequate trial preparation. “Regrettably, the current shutdown of the federal government is impinging on Ms. Kealoha’s constitutional rights to a fair trial and effective assistance of counsel,” Kagiwada wrote in a motion.

Louis Kealoha’s attorney, Rustam Barbee, said Thursday he’s also not being paid.

“I’m going to wait and see for now what movement, if any, occurs in the next week or two to reopen the government,” he said of whether he will also seek postponement.

The trial is currently scheduled for March. A decision hasn’t yet been made on the request Kagiwada filed Wednesday.

Kagiwada must bear the burden of advancing expenses without knowing when she’ll be reimbursed, she wrote.

The Kealohas received attorneys for free after a judge reviewed their financial records and found their debts exceeded their assets. The four-bedroom house in the upscale Honolulu neighborhood of Hawaii Kai that the couple purchased in 2013 for $1.2 million is in foreclosure. It recently went on the market for $1.3 million.

  1. harry oyama January 20, 2019 11:31 am Reply

    Why pay any of these lawyers, just throw both husband and wife in prison before they try to use this as a way out by claiming “justice denied” due to time constraints.

    The law permits police to hold suspects in jail over the weekends due to court proceedings not started until Monday. So the principle is the same, court is in recess until lawyers get paid, so mean while toss both in prison until court proceeding are back in force.

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