September 15, 1887: Letter from W.P. Lunaheihei to C.W. Ashford
On Monday September 17, 2018, it was announced that Katherine Kealoha “resigned as a deputy city prosecutor, almost one year after she was indicted by a federal grand jury along with her husband, Honolulu’s former police chief, on more than 20 counts.” Lynn Kawano, “Ex-police Chief’s Deputy Prosecutor Wife Resigns as Corruption Trial Nears,” (Sept. 17, 2018). Sadly, such stories of police corruption and political intrigue date back to the Kingdom era. Indeed, we recently wrote about an attorney general record that detailed certain fraudulent activities and shortages in the accounts that were occurring at the police station house in Honolulu. Below is a different kind of letter discussing police officers and politically driven insubordination.
In this letter, W.P. Lunaheihei, the deputy sheriff of Honokaʻa, wrote to apologize to the the Attorney General, C.W. Ashford, for his delayed response. Ashford had apparently previously written about the provision of commissions to certain police officers. However, Lunaheihei’s letter references an issue with providing these commissions as proposed by Ashford–namely, that these police officers refuse to obey Lunaheihei’s orders. The explanation for their insubordination seems to be based on politics.
Below is a short excerpt of the letter followed by a transcription.
Ua loaa mai kauleta iau, me kamahalo e kala mai nae oe iau no kalohi ana o kau pane ahaule hope, no na mea e piliana i na makai au i hoohalahala ai, eia ke kumu, aole o lakou hoolohe mai i kau mau kauoha, hemau luna hooikaika koho paloka lakou no J.K. Kaunamano, Kaumolelau Maikakio Waiohinu o Kainoa keia o na makai no ka puka ana o Kini no laila na pio ko lakou aoao akehoka nei lakou i keia manawa, no laila kewaiho akunei au . . . .