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Sunday, September 19, 2004



HONOLULU PROSECUTOR




art
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Incumbent Peter Carlisle cheered as the second printout was read during a gathering last night at Che Pasta in downtown Honolulu.




Carlisle victorious

The prosecutor easily wins a third
term over challenger Kaneshiro,
who once had the job


The mood at Che Pasta in downtown Honolulu last night grew more exuberant as the night wore on and the numbers clearly showed incumbent Peter Carlisle would win a third four-year term as Honolulu prosecutor.

Shortly after the second printout, an elated Carlisle, who was re-elected in 2000 after running unopposed, turned to supporters and thanked them for their efforts, particularly in the last three weeks. "This has been an enormous effort. This is a great success and I'm extremely gratified."



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He beat opponent former city prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro, 58 percent to 34 percent. The outcome of the race clearly showed that "we are on the right path and there's more to do, but I don't think it's time to change course," said Carlisle, 51.

The prosecutor, the only elected city position with no term limits, oversees a staff of 250, including 100 deputy prosecutors, and an annual $14 million budget. The office is responsible for prosecuting thousands of cases a year, ranging from traffic violations to white-collar crimes, public corruption and murders.

Carlisle, who has not sought any endorsements, touted his political independence and the efforts in reducing crime rates during his eight years as prosecutor. He also cited the cooperation his office has had with other law enforcement agencies.

His approach was to lead by example and was a highly visible trial attorney, taking on high-profile cases, including Xerox murderer Byran Uyesugi and police officer Clyde Arakawa, who killed 19-year-old Dana Ambrose in a drunken-driving accident.

Kaneshiro, 55, an attorney and security consultant who had served two terms as city prosecutor from 1988 to 1996, joined the race this year saying he wanted to make a difference.

At the Hawaii Maritime Museum, the temporary headquarters for Keith Kaneshiro, the former city prosecutor refused to concede until the final numbers were in.

Regardless of the outcome tonight, the message that combating the "ice" epidemic needs to be made a priority needed to get out, said a lei-bedecked Kaneshiro.

In announcing his intention to get his old job back, Kaneshiro said he could no longer just stand back and watch as the ice epidemic that he saw coming years ago now ravage the community.

He said he was also disappointed that many of the efforts he started as prosecutor, including specialized prosecution units and laws to deal with repeat offenders and drug dealers, were languishing or were dismantled. He said the prosecutor's office, law enforcement and the community need to be united to effectively fight crime and the ice epidemic.

He cited his endorsement by the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers as an indication of the frustration police officers have with the prosecutor's office.




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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Former city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro voted yesterday morning at Hokulani School.



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