UNITED STATES NEWS

An Alaska judge will preside over an upcoming Hawaii bribery trial after an unexpected recusal

Jan 25, 2024, 5:43 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — A U.S. judge in Alaska will preside over an upcoming bribery trial in Hawaii against Honolulu’s former top prosecutor after a judge suddenly recused himself.

U.S. Senior District Judge Timothy Burgess will temporarily serve as a judge in the Hawaii district in the case against former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro, according to an order filed Thursday.

On Wednesday morning, U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright in Hawaii unexpectedly, and without explanation, recused himself from the case.

He presided over the case since a U.S. grand jury indicted Kaneshiro and five others in 2022, alleging that employees of an engineering and architectural firm bribed Kaneshiro with campaign donations in exchange for his prosecution of a former company employee.

All six have pleaded not guilty.

The indictment alleges that Mitsunaga & Associates employees and an attorney contributed more than $45,000 to Kaneshiro’s reelection campaigns between October 2012 and October 2016.

The former employee targeted with prosecution had been a project architect at Mitsunaga & Associates for 15 years when she was fired without explanation on the same day she expressed disagreement with claims the CEO made against her, court documents say.

Kaneshiro’s office prosecuted the architect, whom court documents identify only as L.J.M., but a judge dismissed the case in 2017 for lack of probable cause.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin next month, but it’s unclear if it will be delayed. Burgess will travel to Hawaii for hearings and the trial, said Lucy Carrillo, clerk of court of the Hawaii district. The next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 6.

It’s also unclear what prompted Seabright’s recusal.

“Whatever the issue is that caused Judge Seabright to recuse himself, it affects all of the local district court judges in some manner,” said Alexander Silvert, who isn’t involved in the case and retired after 31 years as a federal defender in Hawaii. “And therefore they’ve reached out of district in order to ensure a fair and impartial judge presides over the case.”

Both judges were nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005.

Burgess was the U.S. attorney for the Alaska district from 2001 to 2005 and before that, he had been a federal prosecutor in Alaska since 1989.

Seabright spent nearly two decades as a federal prosecutor, including overseeing white-collar and organized crime cases in the U.S. attorney’s office in Hawaii.

United States News

Associated Press

One Tech Tip: Want to turn off Meta AI? You can’t — but there are some workarounds

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If you use Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram, you’ve probably noticed a new character pop up answering search queries or eagerly offering tidbits of information in your feeds, with varying degrees of accuracy. It’s Meta AI, and it’s here to help, at least according to Meta Platforms’ CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who calls […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street lower on interest rate anxiety ahead of next update on US inflation

Wall Street stumbled again early Thursday as hopes for interest rate cuts slowly fade with the Federal Reserve seemingly resolute in its mission to curb inflation. Futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.4% before the bell, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures sank 0.9%. There’s been little economic data this week to distract investors from […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

The Latest | 2 soldiers are killed in a West Bank car-ramming attack, Israeli military says

The Israeli military said Thursday that two soldiers were killed in a car-ramming attack in the occupied West Bank. Violence in the West Bank has surged throughout the war in Gaza as Israel raids Palestinian towns in the territory to crack down on militancy, with incursions resulting in the deaths of more than 500 Palestinians. […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Jurors in Trump’s hush money trial zero in on testimony of key witnesses as deliberations resume

NEW YORK (AP) — The jury in former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial is to resume deliberations Thursday after asking to rehear potentially crucial testimony about the alleged scheme at the heart of the history-making case. The 12-person jury deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours on Wednesday without reaching a verdict. Besides asking to […]

9 hours ago

Alito...

Associated Press

Alito rejects calls to quit Supreme Court cases on Trump and Jan. 6 because of flag controversies

Justice Samuel Alito is rejecting calls to step aside from Supreme Court cases involving former President Donald Trump and Jan. 6 defendants, saying his wife hoisted the two controversial flags that flew above their homes.

10 hours ago

Nissan...

Associated Press

Nissan warns owners of older vehicles about risk of exploding air bag inflators

Nissan is urging the owners of about 84,000 older vehicles to stop driving them because their Takata air bag inflators have an increased risk of exploding in a crash and hurling dangerous metal fragments.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

An Alaska judge will preside over an upcoming Hawaii bribery trial after an unexpected recusal