On April 8, 2015, I officially stepped down as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Legislative Liaison of the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu. Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro and I met while I was serving as Judiciary Chair in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. He has been a great mentor and friend to me. I will always cherish my time in his administration for it had allowed me to finish a number of my goals to reduce violence, especially in the areas of assault and rape.
I’m taking a break from public service, a passion I’ve had since my days as a Boy Scout and student government leader. Instead, I’m focusing on several business projects that can play a role in bringing joy in people’s lives in addition to generating revenue for our State and nation. Further, I will advocate for companies who need help with contracts, commercial leases, grants, bonds, tax credits, or changes in the laws/rules. Lastly, I’ll consider some legal defense work. I’m currently working with an events company, agriculture company, and bar. Through the private sector, I’ll work as hard as I can to play a small role in making our world happier and our economy as vibrant as it can be. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.
Below is my letter of April 7, 2015 to Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro, requesting to step down as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu:
April 7, 2015
Dear Prosecuting Attorney Kaneshiro,
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