The complaint, filed Tuesday in Kauai Circuit Court on behalf of deputy Rebecca Vogt, raises concerns about equal pay, gender discrimination, free speech rights and county ethics violations. It names both the county and Iseri-Carvalho, who was sued by Councilman Tim Bynum yesterday.
Vogt alleges she was pressured to support Iseri-Carvalho, who rewarded employees she considered loyal. When Vogt did not actively campaign, she claims she was passed over for a raise, while five less-experienced male deputies who supported the prosecutor got hefty pay hikes.
As you may recall, I wrote a post on that very topic last week.
She says Iseri-Carvalho handed out the pay raises even though in March — following “sparse attendance at her major fundraiser” — she had told staff that she would be cutting salaries due to “budget cuts.”
When Vogt complained about the arbitrary nature of the raises, and their apparent unethical link to campaign support, she says Iseri-Carvalho retaliated against her, giving her more work, denying her comp time and stripping her of the authority to independently approve plea offers.
Vogt maintains Iseri-Carvalho violated the county Code of Ethics, which prohibits county employees from using their positions to secure unwarranted privileges, advantages and treatment for themselves or others. She also says her right to free speech was violated when the prosecutor punished her for speaking up.
The complaint alleges Iseri-Carvalho's actions were “willful, wanton, outrageous and oppressive,” and that Vogt suffered job insecurity, income loss, humiliation, and emotional and physical anguish as a result. The extent of the retaliation forced her to take a medical leave of absence, she alleges.
Vogt, who began working for the Office of Prosecuting Attorney in August 2010, says she had always received favorable work reviews.
Note: Sorry I can't post the complaint, but the file is too big for my upload facility. However, if you would like a copy — it's interesting reading — email me at eastsidegrrrl at yahoo.com.