Hawaii News Now reported last night that the federal investigation of Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife has taken another step forward (“More officers facing charges in federal investigation of HPD chief, wife“).
According to HNN:
According to sources, federal “target letters” have gone out to several people connected to the chief and his wife, Katherine Kealoha.
“When you become a target, you’re being told that you’ve committed a crime, and they’re investigating you and they want you to come in and talk to them,” said attorney William Harrison, represents one of those who received a target letter.
“It’s very serious,” he said, adding that he’s made contact with the federal prosecutor and the FBI agents handling the case.
Here a link to a sample “target letter.”
The sample letter says, in part:
We advise you that the Grand Jury is conducting an investigation of possible violations of federal criminal laws involving, but not necessarily limited to *. You are advised that the destruction or alteration of any document required to be produced before the grand jury constitutes serious violation of federal law, including but not limited to Obstruction of Justice.
You are advised that you are a target of the Grand Jury’s investigation. You may refuse to answer any question if a truthful answer to the question would tend to incriminate you. Anything that you do or say may be used against you in a subsequent legal proceeding.
An online search turns up lots of information about target letters.
One site warns:
“A “target letter” is just what it implies: You are likely going to be indicted, and you better act accordingly.
Another site explains that there are different levels of such letters, and the recipient might be either a “subject” or a “target”.
A grand jury subject is the gray area between a witness and a target. The United States Attorneys’ Manual defines a subject as “a person whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury’s investigation.” It means that the government is not actively seeking your indictment but that the government may try to indict you in the future because you engaged in conduct connected to what the grand jury is investigating. Basically, the government has not made up its mind about you. You might be in trouble or you might not.
A grand jury target is someone who is likely to be indicted. According to the United States Attorney’s Manual, a target “is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant.” This is the most serious category, and it means you are in serious trouble. The most likely outcome is that you will be indicted.
It now seems very clear that this grand jury investigation isn’t going away, and indictments seem likely.
It’s creating more tricky terrain for Mayor Kirk Caldwell just two months before the election.