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The Latest: Investigation targets $250K Honolulu paid chief

January 15, 2019
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FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2017 file photo, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell talks to reporters about problems with a rail funding bill in Honolulu. The city of Honolulu's chief legal officer has received a target letter linked to an ongoing federal corruption investigation. Mayor Kirk Caldwell says Corporation Counsel Donna Leong is taking a paid leave of absence, effective Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz, File)
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FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2017 file photo, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell talks to reporters about problems with a rail funding bill in Honolulu. The city of Honolulu's chief legal officer has received a target letter linked to an ongoing federal corruption investigation. Mayor Kirk Caldwell says Corporation Counsel Donna Leong is taking a paid leave of absence, effective Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz, File)

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a target letter linked to an ongoing Honolulu corruption investigation (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

A lawyer representing Honolulu’s chief legal officer against a target letter linked to an ongoing federal corruption investigation says her client did nothing wrong.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell says Corporation Counsel Donna Leong is taking a paid leave of absence, effective Monday.

Leong’s attorney Lynn Panagakos says the letter relates to $250,000 paid to former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha when he retired. Kealoha agreed to retire after receiving a target letter.

Panagakos says the payment was properly authorized and processed.

The grand jury investigation has already resulted in corruption-related charges against Kealoha and his wife Katherine Kealoha, a former deputy prosecutor. Prosecutors say the couple framed an uncle for stealing their mailbox.

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4 p.m.

The city of Honolulu’s chief legal officer has received a target letter linked to an ongoing federal corruption investigation.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell says Corporation Counsel Donna Leong is taking a paid leave of absence, effective Monday.

The grand jury investigation has already resulted in corruption-related charges against a retired Honolulu police chief and his wife, a former deputy prosecutor. Prosecutors say the couple framed an uncle for stealing their mailbox.

Caldwell says Leong’s letter from the FBI has to do with the separation agreement she negotiated when Chief Louis Kealoha retired after receiving a target letter. Leong’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Last month, Chasid Sapolu, Honolulu’s second-highest-ranking prosecutor, announced a leave of absence after receiving a subject letter, which is less serious than a target letter.

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