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Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Full Text: Drunk Prosecutor Resigns from Kaneshiro's Office
By News Release @ 10:30 PM :: 5499 Views :: Ethics, Law Enforcement

Keith M. Kaneshiro

Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu

1060 Richards Street

Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813

Dear Prosecuting Attorney Kaneshiro,     April 7, 2015

At this time, I am submitting my letter of resignation as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu. With the intense media coverage on my pending OVUII case, I do not want to be a distraction to the work of the department.

I thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.  While here, I was able to achieve 736 convictions (715 plea convictions and 21 trial convictions) and fulfill some personal goals through my work on criminal cases and legislation dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent crimes. Over the years, there have been many people who have confided in me about their experiences with violence. When I was a young college student, a female friend told me about how she was raped as a teenager, though she never reported it to law enforcement. I was emotionally impacted by her plight, and told her that, someday, I would fight against violence by working in law and politics. I have now fulfilled my promise, and dedicate my work to her and the many other survivors of violence.

I have really enjoyed working with you, your administrative team, and our legislative team: Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tricia Nakamatsu, Victim Witness Advocate Division Director Dennis Dunn, Clerk Julia Kaneshiro, former Clerk Maria Stevens, and former Clerk Paul Lacuesta. Together, in the past four-and-a-half years, we worked to introduce and pass 18 bills on behalf of this department, and helped to reestablish state-funding, in the amount of over $2 million, that allowed continued participation in the many state-mandated programs that this department has had to shoulder. We were not only great team members, but also great friends.

I have also enjoyed working with all of the other attorneys and staff who have served in our department. I am grateful for the wonderful memories that I have shared with many of them. Lastly, I wanted to express my appreciation for your mentorship and encouragement over the past four-and-a-half years, which allowed me to do my best work in litigation and lobbying the legislature. Your support has always meant a great deal to me, especially when I had a challenging time at court or at the legislature. Thank you again, for giving me the opportunity to work in your administration.

With Warmest Aloha,

Jon Riki Karamatsu

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

City and County of Honolulu

  *   *   *   *   *

PDF: Original Letter

Background:

Carlisle Slams Kaneshiro for Hiring Drunk Prosecutor

HNN, April 7, 2015: In 2007, while Karamatsu was Vice Speaker of the state House, he was convicted after crashing his car into a concrete median.  He pleaded no contest in that case and had his driver's license revoked for six months. The former state lawmaker also helped pass tougher DUI laws.

"I've learned from my mistake, I'm deeply sorry and I'm very fortunate that no one got hurt,” said Karamatsu in 2007.

“Now he's going to have to kinda swallow those words and try to explain why he was in this situation again after going through it once," Bakke said.

And Karamatsu has had other issues recently.  Hawaii News Now reported on his involvement with a rave at Kakaako Park last year.  An event that about 10-thousand people attended. "While he's working at the prosecutors office, he decided to go out and promote raves, which in case you are not aware of, is something that most law enforcement people aren't happy about," says former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle. 

Carlisle doesn't think Karamatsu should still have a job.

"These is no excuse for this guy being hired by the prosecutor's office in the first place, number two, being maintained in the prosecutor's office, and three, any other alternative than him being immediately fired, not allowed to resign, but fired," says Carlisle.

read ... No Excuse

  *   *   *   *   *

Drunk Prosecutor Loses License for Two Years

Star-Adv, April 11, 2015: A state agency has sustained the revocation of the driver's license of former Deputy Prosecutor Jon Riki Kara­ma­tsu for failing to submit to a breath, blood or urine test in a traffic stop April 4.

His license was taken away, and he was issued a temporary permit shortly after his arrest.

The Administrative Driver's License Revocation Office said Kara­ma­tsu's license and privilege to drive a vehicle are revoked for two years starting May 5....

Karamatsu, 40, who resigned as deputy prosecutor after his arrest, is scheduled to make an initial appearance in Hono­lulu District Court at 8:30 a.m. May 1 on a charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence.

When he was a state House member in 2007, Kara­ma­tsu was convicted of drunken driving.

At 12:56 a.m. April 4, Kara­ma­tsu was driving a pickup truck when he was stopped at a police sobriety checkpoint at Ala Moana Boulevard and Hobron Lane, according to a police report filed with the license revocation office.

A police officer said the truck was parked at an angle not parallel to the sidewalk, and he instructed Kara­ma­tsu to move closer to the curb so the incoming vehicles in the checkpoint area wouldn't hit the back of his truck, the report said.

The police officer said Kara­ma­tsu appeared "dazed" and had bloodshot eyes, and his face was slightly red and shiny.

"I could also smell a strong odor of an alcoholic-type beverage … from within the truck," the officer said.

"When asked, he stated he had a few drinks early in the evening."

The officer said Kara­ma­tsu failed a standardized field sobriety test.

In one of the tests, Kara­ma­tsu's left and right eyes failed to smoothly track a pen held by the officer, the report alleged.

The officer said Kara­ma­tsu also failed to follow instructions and began a test that required walking before he was instructed to start.

read ... Drunk

 

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