New defense attorney appointed in Hawaii corruption case

HONOLULU — A former Honolulu prosecutor convicted of conspiracy has a new taxpayer-funded attorney.

A federal judge appointed Gary Singh to represent Katherine Kealoha. A jury last month found Kealoha and her retired police chief husband guilty of conspiracy in a plot to frame her uncle. Prosecutors say the Kealohas wanted to keep him from revealing fraud that paid for their lavish lifestyle.

Cynthia Kagiwada asked to withdraw as Katherine Kealoha’s attorney, citing a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship. Kealoha filed a motion saying she should get a new trial because Kagiwada was ineffective.

Singh said Monday he met with his new client twice at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center.

Kealoha faces two more trials, including for drug-dealing charges.

The Kealohas have taxpayer-funded attorneys because they can’t afford to hire their own.

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