Interestingly, all their false claims were attempts to discredit their arch enemy: County Attorney Al Castillo.
Shay told MidWeek Kauai:
But if you look at the amount of money that there has been allocated just in the past year for the county attorney’s special counsel because they have these conflicts, it has been almost $1.7 million in special counsel. …. So if you look at all the money that the County Attorney’s Office has expended, it’s humongous, it’s more than $1 million in a year on special counsel because of the conflict that it has with all of the department heads.
I checked, and the actual amount allocated for special counsel in the past year (9-11 to 9-12) was $619,680 — $85,000 of which was appropriated due to a conflict with the County Attorney's Office.
Mel, challenging Al at Wednesday's Council meeting, claimed the Charter Review Commission had approved a ballot amendment to clarify whether the Prosecutor's office could offer diversionary programs like POHAKU. But it reversed its vote upon advice from a deputy county attorney:
“I sat in a Charter Review Commission meeting a while back. I was there for another matter. In fact, for the “shall vs may,” believe it or not. But prior to that coming up, there was discussion on whether or not to put that [Prosecutor's amendment] in the charter. The Charter Commission voted to support putting that on the ballot. I was at that meeting. I was there with my own ears. But I'm telling you that the record will reflect that at that meeting, they said hey, that make sense. So they voted and I believe it was unanimous and then when the thing came out, it's not on. This charter ballot question that was supposed to be on the ballot this year, that item was not on to add in diversionary programs. OK, so I talked to two commissioners that told me, 'we were advised that we didn't have to put it on because they already have the right to do that.' I don't know who the deputy was there. I'm thinking who advised the Charter Commission now to take it off the ballot when they voted to support it? That troubles me, because now we're hearing that they don't [have that authority]. And if they don't, then it should've been on ballot.
So maybe you do your research with your deputies to find out why that commission was told we didn't need that item. I'm asking you to to go find out. Because that's not right, Al. I'm beginning to see a pattern that I'm uncomfortable with. The other thing is, um, and I don't know if you guys are aware of this, probably not, because it didn't make the paper, but I was there when they called for the question. It just bothers me because now we're hearing they don't have that express authority.
We can request the minutes. I was there and I know what I heard."
I checked the Charter Review Commission minutes, which are all on-line. The item first came up in Oct. 24, 2011 and was deferred. The “shall vs. may” issue was on the March 19 meeting, but despite what Mel says, the Prosecutor's amendment was not discussed. At its May 21 meeting, the Commission did approve the Prosecutor's amendment, by a 5-0 vote, with no discussion.
At its July 23 meeting, the Commission voted to reject the amendment. But as the minutes show, the decision did not involve an opinion from the deputy county attorney:
Mr. Nishida said the items listed were programs and the Charter is not the place where you assign programs. The Charter does not have to include all programs because there would not be a bus system, there would not be an Office of Elderly Affairs, and there would not be a Housing Agency. The Charter establishes the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney but the programs should be within the administration and not listed in the Charter.
Mr. Justus thought this request was brought to the Charter Commission because the Prosecuting Office in Honolulu was sued. Honolulu was doing programs like our Prosecuting Office is doing now but the Court decided since it wasn’t specified in the Charter that the Prosecuting Attorney had the ability to do these programs they lost.
Attorney Winn said that was not correct. The case had to do with Peter Carlisle using public funds to promote information charging and the Courts said it was not within his purview to use public funds to do that.
Mr. Nishida said he specifically asked the Prosecutor’s Office what the relationship was between that case and the proposed amendment and they said there was no relationship; it was just that it was not in the Charter. These are programs and they should not be in the Charter because the Charter states what needs to be done in this office. The programs are a good idea but the Charter could restrict movement.
Ms. Barela agreed with Mr. Nishida.
Mr. Justus felt this would provide the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with legal protection. Mr. Justus asked if this should be in the County Code instead of the Charter. Mr. Nishida and Ms. Barela both said it should be between agencies and/or grants. It should not be dictated in the Charter what should be there or may or may not be there. Mr. Justus wanted to know what the harm would be if it did not lock anything in; if it just provides padding.
Mr. Nishida moved to reject the amendment. Ms. Barela seconded the motion. Motion carried 4:0
Jake, meanwhile, told The Garden Island:
“The commission, however, at their July meeting, voted to not place the amendment on the ballot because they were advised by the County Attorney’s Office that the OPA already had the authority to establish such programs under the charter, thus amending the charter for this purpose was unnecessary,” Delaplane said on an email Wednesday evening.
As I noted above, that's not the case.
So why do Mel, Shay and Jake lie about stuff that can so easily be proven via public records? Just because they want to make Al look bad?
To borrow Mel's words, “I'm beginning to see a pattern here, and it makes me uncomfortable.”