It remains to be seen what rabbit Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho plans to pull out of the hat to turn the election in her favor. She missed a scheduled radio debate yesterday, reportedly claiming she was detained with work. Was it because the Grand Jury, which also met yesterday, failed to return an indictment she was seeking and had hoped to publicize? Curiously, the Jury is meeting again today, in what is a rare, if not unprecedented, occurrence on Kauai. As I, and others, have been saying all along: don't be surprised if Shay orchestrates a splashy “big crime solved, bad guy arrested” scenario in these last days of voting in an attempt to make herself look good.
Meanwhile, Shay has rewarded yet another loyalist with a fat raise. As I learned from a public records request, Shay recently promoted Kerrileen “Nani” Lizama, her campaign treasurer, to the position of program assistant, with an annual salary of $55,000. Previously, Lizama was making $32,430 a year as law office assistant. That's a whopping 72% pay hike — even bigger than the raise awarded to OPA blogger Charley Foster, who got a 45% pay hike within six weeks of being hired as the office's appellate attorney.
Curiously, though Foster found time to switch his political allegiance and hold sign for his boss, as well as start blogging on her behalf, he failed to file any opposition when convicted sex offender James Mundon asked the Hawaii Supreme Court to review an Intermediate Court of Appeals ruling where the prosecutor had prevailed. Strange how it wasn't a priority for a fulltime appellate attorney to respond to that request — especially since it was the one case that Shay took to trial as prosecutor. But then, perhaps Charley wasn't thinking straight, mesmerized instead by Shay's "thick, earthy pidgin creole."
Meanwhile, does anyone else find it wildly inappropriate that both Charley and Shay's first deputy, Jake Delaplane, are publicly attacking Councilman Tim Bynum, who is the plaintiff in a lawsuit against their office and their boss?
Jake taped a segment on Hoike (it starts at the 16.50-minute mark) entitled “Where's the Rice Cooker?” where he accuses Tim of spreading “lies and misleading information” about the circumstances that led to Shay charging Tim with a misdemeanor zoning violation. Though Jake starts by identifying himself as the first deputy, he claims he is not speaking in his “official capacity.”
“I think the people deserve the truth,” Jake says. But he fails to mention two key facts in the case: Jake and his entire office were recused because their inappropriate behavior created a conflict of interest, and all charges against Tim were dismissed.
Isn't it ethically inappropriate for Jake to continue trying a case on public access TV when he was recused and the charges were dropped? Doesn't that behavior put the county at risk of incurring even greater damages in Tim's lawsuit?
Jake says that Tim has repeatedly claimed he was illegally prosecuted for a rice cooker. He then flashes a photo allegedly taken in Tim's family room that shows a sink with dishes and a refrigerator before saying, “Where's the rice cooker, Mr. Bynum?” Actually, we know there was a rice cooker, because planning inspector Patrick Henriques referenced it during a conversation that Jake secretly taped.
It's quite remarkable how Jake and Charley have stepped forward to do Shay's dirty work in this election. In the process, they've put their own professional reputations on the line. They may think it's worth it, to protect their boss and their six-figure salaries. But in a small legal community like Kauai, and even Hawaii, such actions don't go unnoticed.