Former Hawaii prosecutor faces fraud, bribery charges in corruption probe

He faces charges of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, federal program bribery, and conspiracy against rights

Updated: June 17, 2022 - 9:41pm

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Former Hawaii prosecuting attorney Keith Mitsuyoshi Kaneshiro turned himself in to the FBI on Friday morning following his indictment on charges related to public corruption probe.

Kaneshiro faces charges of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, federal program bribery, and conspiracy against rights, according to the local Fox affiliate, KHON2. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a $50,000 bond, per Hawaii News Now.

Federal prosecutors allege that Kaneshiro prosecuted an employee of Mitsunaga and Associates, an engineering company, at the firm's behest in order to deprive that employee of their rights. The employee sued for age discrimination. Kaneshiro, in 2014, pressed theft charges against the employee, alleging they billed Mitsunaga for time spent working other jobs using company resources, Fox reported. Those charges were dismissed in 2017.

Kaneshiro's term ended in 2020, though he was placed on leave in 2018 after receiving a target letter from the Justice Department, the outlet noted.

Four other co-conspirators were indicted in the scheme and the trial is set for mid-August, according to Hawaii News Now. All of the other defendants pleaded not guilty and secured release on the same bond figure as Kaneshiro.

Mitsunaga employees and their families contributed thousands of dollars in campaign donations to Kaneshiro during his bids for the office of prosecutor, the outlet observed.