Thursday, November 1, 2012

Musings: Digging for Gold

Spectacular is the word that comes to mind in describing what I experienced when walking with the dogs in the time of not-yet-morning: a sky emblazoned with stars and planets, the Big Dipper pouring its contents onto Kapaa, the landscape awash with silver moonlight, faint mist rising from the chilly pastures as owls called. And this was followed, about an hour later, by more dramatic beauty when the craggy lavender face of Waialeale lit up as the sun rose in a blaze of pink and gold.

As the cynical perversion of the golden rule goes, he who has the gold rules. Let's hope that's not true in the case of Mitt Romney. According to a report in

[Romney] his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio and elsewhere.

Something's kinky there.... and also, it seems, with the county auditor's office. The County Council just posted notice of a special executive session meeting Nov. 9 to receive a briefing from the attorney who is investigating “personnel matters involving the County Auditor's office, and related  matters. This briefing and consultation is to consider the hire, evaluation, dismissal, or discipline of an officer or employee or of charges brought against the officer or employee.” Hmmm.....

And then there's the ongoing kinkiness in the Office of Prosecuting Attorney, with a recent records request confirming that over the past three months, Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho has handed out $145,768 in pay raises to seven staffers, six of whom have actively supported her campaign. Some of these raises put green attorneys at the same pay scale as seasoned prosecutors.

Here's the breakdown, showing their salary in August, their current pay, and the total amount of their raise:

Jared Auna: $85,000 – $101,066 = $16,066
Charley Foster: $70,000 — $101,066 = $31,066
Lance Kobashigawa: $80,000 — $95,000 = $15,000
Kai Lawrence: $70,000 — $80,000 = $10,000
Gary Nelson: $70,000 — $101,066 = $31,066
Henry Ross: $75,000 — $95,000 = $20,000
Kerrileen “Nani” Lizama: $32,430 —$55,000 = $22,570

According to Shay's campaign contribution reports, Auna gave her $110; Nelson donated $280, Ross gave $220, Kobashigawa gave $300; Foster offered up his blog, and Lizama is her campaign treasurer. No record is shown of Lawrence supporting her campaign.

Interestingly, Rep. Derek Kawakami shows up as the only politician who has contributed to Shay's campaign, to the tune of $150. Maybe, since he claims not to read my blog, he's not aware of all her shaynanigans. Of course, she did help his family when the big box store bill went to the Council....

Shay also got a whopping $4,000 from SHOPO, the cop's union that endorsed her after she formed a political alliance with Police Chief Darryl Perry, as well as $200 from Bryson Ponce, the SHOPO agent.

Records also show YWCA Director Renae Hamilton, whose agency gets funding from the OPA, gave Shay $200. And Jasper Properties — as in JJ's — gave her $500. Btw, have you seen the letter Jett Jasper is sending out on behalf of Linda Lingle? A friend sent it along, with his comment scrawled on the document. Yeah, it seems the big issue for Jett in this Senate race is restoring night games, with Lingle apparently ready to take on the Endangered Species Act. 

Since I'm here at the campaign filing website, let's take a look at contributions received by the other candidates. I'll link you to their home page, and you can look more deeply if you're interested.

We'll start with Justin Kollar, Shay's opponent. He got $600 from his boss, County Attorney Al Castillo, and $1,000 from HGEA, which endorsed him. Planning Director Mike Dahilig gave him $350.

In the Council race, Tim Bynum was the only candidate who didn't get any special interest money. His largest contributor was financial planner Loren Kayfetz, who gave $2,000.

Nadine Nakamura got some construction union contributions, as well as $1,000 from A&B and smaller contributions from other developers.

Jay Furfaro got $500 from Princeville developer Jeff Stone, $2,000 from A&B, $250 from Grove Farm's Warren Haruki and significant contributions from construction unions.

JoAnn Yukimura got $300 from the ILWU and lots of little contributions from regular folks.

Mel Rapozo got $1,120 from SHOPO, $200 from Sen. Ron Kouchi, $100 from Shay and some construction union/PAC contributions.

KipuKai Kualii got $2,000 from an operating engineers PAC, $100 from first deputy prosecutor Jake Delaplane and a lot of small grassroots donations.

Dickie Chang got $1,000 from Earthworks Pacific, $1,000 from A&B, some construction industry PAC money, $500 from auto dealer Charlie King, $200 from Al Castillo, $200 from former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka, $200 from Rep. Jimmy Tokioka and $100 from JoAnn Yukimura.

Gary Hooser got $500 from SHOPO and $300 from UPW, and a lot of small to medium contributions from the common folk.

And newbie Ross Kagawa got $1,000 from the IBEW PAC, $500 from HGEA, $500 from A&B and a slew of small contributions, though none from his former boss, Maryanne Kusaka.

Regarding the OHA elections, here's a link to an article I did on some of the other folks running for the at-large seat, where Walter Ritte and Haunani Apoliona are the front runners. Locally, my choice for the Kauai OHA race is Leland "Radar" Yadao, who has formed an alliance with Ritte. 


Anonymous said...

If these deputy prosecutors are as new as you say they are then these salaries are OUTRAGEOUS!. This also means we should vote to have the salary commission set the OPA salaries I assume.

27-year olds making 95K per year taxpayer money? WTF?

Anonymous said...

$145,768 dollrs in pay raises along with the $250,000 in settlements... hmmm... personally, how can we afford to keep Shay in office? She is costing nearly $750,000 this year alone. Money could be spent on education, parks... anything else.

Anonymous said...

The irony here is that the amounts shown by each contributing individual or company, isnt even half of the amount that they really donated. The other half went to the candidates pockets and not recorded.

Anonymous said...

Beam me up Scotty...there's no intelligent life down here.

Anonymous said...

Nani Lizama was making $32K, then became Shay's campaign manager and got a 22K raise???!!!How's That?

Anonymous said...

I'm not understanding all these legal shenanigans. Writs and Raises. I certainly hope our OPA has not compromised the Sandy G. murder case by her need for publicity. Why should we endure such a Drama Queen?

Anonymous said...

I vote for Leland "Radar" Yadao and Kollar too. Lets shake things up a little. But keep Nakamura and Bynum who will go truth to power. Furfaro all about puffy Furfaro. No more trust Mel. Dickie is one good guy and gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

Dickie is a "nice guy" but that's not what we need. He has been ineffectual. What is his platform outside of non-stop promoting of tourism? He is so one-faceted. I am tired of politicians that promote the only industy in town that keeps our people in subservient postions with barely a living wage. I'm sorry but Dickie came in 9th in the primary for a reason. And why, do we have to vote twice for a non-partisan race?
Results should've been determined in the primary. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Because she is the best and most qualified for that position on Kauai. Anymore questions? I plead the 5th and request the county 100K to defend my actions!

Anonymous said...

We should be asking what detectives threatened Kagawas neighbors to keep quiet or else.

Anonymous said...

Fraud, Waste, and Abuse!

Charley Foster did not even pass a 90 day probation period before he got a 30k plus raise!

Who on Kauai believes that's wrong?

Shayme doesn't believe people on Kauai knows what's right or wrong and that's why she believes she can get away with anything on Kauai.

Was Aurero Moore set up to be Killed for retaliation? I believe so, so much shibai going on.

Anonymous said...

Gary Nelson just graduated from law school LAST YEAR and this year he's at top pay?! WTF?

Anonymous said...


Where on this earth have you ever seen that many raises in such absurd amounts given out to a bunch of ROOKIES with no experience??

How is this in any way being fiscally responsible with OUR TAXPAYING MONEY?

To those of you that complain about how the county wastes taxpayers money yet support Shay, how can you justify these raises?

I hope if justin gets elected he will CLEAN HOUSE!!!!..or at least do a major workload audit and re-evaluate the organizational chart and bring in his own know, qualified, hardworking, honest, respectable people.

Anonymous said...

Maybe those kids are prodigies. Maybe Charley actually does legal work that would justify his max salary. Maybe Jake was the most qualified person to be the first deputy.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Jake will use his wife and she uses kids to set someone up for the syndicates. These Heffers are spreading false rumors to her other coworkers but all these people don't know that they are being watch. The pawns playing roles are rats that's being played like the ems dude. It's getting interesting, are they gonna try to do him like they did Fig Mitchell? They wonder how is this person or persons getting all this information, when all of this suppose to be secret.

Anonymous said...

All this talk about rookies, and you folks want kollar? Talk about green, these rookies you're complaining about have much more experience than kollar. Just listen to the guy - no wonder he's never won a jury over.

Anonymous said...

And Shaylene claims to be "fiscally responsible." Crazy!

Anonymous said...

Did you hear about the new real property tax assessment? It's called the Shaylene Assessment; it needs to raise an extra $400,000.

Anonymous said...

Even Shay's former first deputy gave Kollar money. Lori Wada was supposedly Shay's "best friend" and she left Kauai after less than a year. Geez.

Anonymous said...

I am watching the mayors show on the charter amendments. I think it's sad that the chatter commission guy cannot even explain the amendments that we are voting on. And Jo Ann only makes muddy water muddier

irk said...

Anonymous said...

@ 10:02- hmmm, comparing Justin Kollar to a new law grad, or someone who has only recently passed the bar, let's look at Justin's experience:

•Former Deputy Prosecutor handling many felony drug crimes, vehicular homicides, negligent injury and drunk driving cases.
•Former Supervisor of District Court and Juvenile Family Court prosecution units on Kauai.
•Successfully litigated appeals before the Intermediate Court of Appeals.
•Worked on asset forfeiture proceedings before the Attorney General’s office and in Circuit Court.
•Has worked as a Deputy County Attorney for three years litigating in State and Federal Court in Hawaii and providing legal services to Kauai Police, Kauai Civil Defense, and the Mayor’s Office.
•Worked as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston conducting litigation in State and Federal Courts and servicing numerous City agencies, including Homeland Security.
•Clerked in Hawaii’s Intermediate Court of Appeals for the Honorable Daniel Foley.
•Clerked in the Massachusetts Superior Court, assisting Justices with serious felony criminal cases and complex civil matters.
•More than a decade in public service; in his seventh year of service to the State of Hawaii and County of Kauai.

It seems like Justin has quite a bit of experience. Maybe you should try making an actual comparison with information.

Anonymous said...

How will or how does Justin feel about the treatment of Native Hawaiians in the Criminal Justice System?

I wish he could be notified to respond to this question because it is a rather big issue. On a scale of 1-10, Iʻd put it @10.

Justin, if you have made your way to this sight or a friend or colleague has alerted you, please please respond.

I donʻt think in the commotion of campaigning and debates, this was addressed or if it was, it was not adequate.

Thanks and thanks.

Joan Conrow said...

I have forwarded your comment to Justin and he said he would be happy to respond later today, when he is off work.

Anonymous said...

Joan maybe you can have him respond to the case of Stetson Furtado and how he FAILED at prosecuting the man responsible for killing him after he was told to prosecute the case. I dont care for Shay and her antics but I would rather have a pit bull prosecutor than a dog with its tail between his legs. Its not a popularity contest you want someone who can do the job.

Furtado family

Anonymous said...

In regard to the comment about how native Hawaiians are treated in the criminal justice system I would suggest that they should be treated no differently than any other American citizen. Any failure in that regard is subject to redress through current civil rights laws.

Anonymous said...

To 9:20 Mauna Kea Trask and Justin both worked on that case. The jury found the guy not guilty. You can't win every case. I don't know where you get the idea Shay is a "pit bull prosecutor." Pit bull maybe, but not pit bull prosecutor. She only took one case to trial -- James Mundon, and he was acquitted of 23 of the 28 counts against him and is now appealing that conviction.

Anonymous said...

"Any other American citizen" is not protected by a constitutional amendment protecting traditional and customary Native Hawaiian practices.

The rules are different as to certain practices by Native Hawaiians - its because of history and public policy. Its right in the State constitution so better get used to it.

Anonymous said...

How many drunk driver trials has OPA won in the last 4 years? None? One? Two? Kollar won more than that on his own.

Anonymous said...

To 11:20 that is sad when theres all this evidence the man should not be driving due to medication he made an illegal u-turn and he was speeding. That life he took was doing nothing wrong. That family lost a father that day. So if he cant argue a case like that he does not deserve to be the PA.

Furtado family

Anonymous said...

It was a sad case, and we're all sorry for your loss, but your son is the one who was speeding on his motorbike.

Anonymous said...

@1:52 who said this was his father because its not. And no Stetson was not speeding. That man did a ILLEGAL u turn and hit him head on.

Furtado family

Justin Kollar said...

To the individual who asked about treatment of Native Hawaiian individuals in the criminal justice system, I agree with the findings in OHA's 2010 report that Native Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in our prison population and are more likely to get a prison sentence than other groups. They also receive longer sentences than most other racial and ethnic groups. They also make up the highest percentage of people incarcerated in out of state facilities. Native Hawaiian women are also incarcerated at far higher numbers relative to their population size. The report also finds that punitive responses to drug use disproportionately impact Native Hawaiians. Native Hawaiian youth are also disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice system in Hawaii.

Racial disparities must be targeted intentionally in order to reduce them. This includes gaining stakeholder support, making administrative resolutions to address the issue, setting goals, and gathering data. i also support increases in programs designed to assist Native Hawaiians re-entering their community following incarceration, and the elimination of housing our inmates on the Mainland, which is especially traumatic for Native Hawaiian families and hurts the community in the long run. I'm also happy to answer more specific questions on this topic, but it is a subject I take seriously and will work to address meaningfully in my administration.

And to the Furtado family, my heart still goes out to you for your loss. Mauna Kea and I, and our entire office, including management, worked hard on your case. We took it seriously and presented a quality case. Unfortunately, the jury acquitted the defendant. I still think about that case often and I wish you and your family the best.

Anonymous said...

Fact: Shaylene has not done a jury trial in over two years and the last trial she did (State v. Mundon) she lost many of the counts at trial (a fact that she declines to mention).

Also, the Hawaii Supreme Court is currently reviewing her conduct in that case. If you review the oral argument, it sounds like the Court may even overturn the Attempted Sex Assault 1 conviction.

Isn't that right Charley?

Whoever is the Prosecutor, it is their job to hire, train, cultivate, and keep experienced DPAs who actually do the trials (no,it was not actually Shaylene who won the 2011 and 2012 convictions that she has been taking credit for in interviews).

Isn't that right Jacob?

Shaylene has repeatedly shown she mistreats her employees to the point where they cannot take it anymore and leave. She is a terrible manager.

Let's give someone else a chance to show they can do a better job as a manager. That is one reason why Justin should be the Prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho tells the voters she specilizes in murder and sex assault cases.

Shaylene has NEVER done a Murder trial.

Shaylene has never done an Attempted Murder trial.

Shaylene is not handling the Hilario case. A Deputy is.

Shaylene has not done a sex assault trial in over two years.

The last trial Shaylene did, she lost on many of the charges, and most likely will lose the remaining sex assault charge on appeal.

A Deputy has been handling all the Sex Assault trials for the last couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Shaylene tells voters she has 95% conviction rate.

Has anyone ever really looked at her stats? What does she consider a conviction?

If someone is guilty of a Class A felony but Shaylene lets the Defendant plead to a petty misdemeanor (a very minor offense), Shaylene Counts that as a conviction.

Court records show that Shaylene allows a large percentage of the Drug cases to pled down from felonies to misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors (minor offenses), but Shaylene counts that as a conviction.

Anonymous said...

Fact Check:
Has pitbull Shaylene herself ever done a Negligent Homicide jury trial?
If she says she has, name it.

Anonymous said...

If you want to listen to Charley Foster stammer through oral arguments, and hear the Hawaii Supreme Court comment on Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho's trial conduct in the last jury trial she ever did, go to:

Hawaii State Judiciary website;
Under the tab: "For Attorneys" press on "Oral Arguments";
Then go to "Audio Recording Archive" "No. SCWG-10-0000101, Thurs., Oct. 18, 2012, State v. James Mundon"

No wonder Charley will not put that on his blog.

Anonymous said...

This iis the exact reason to why the GOBAG crime families want her in office. She protects and serves Kauai's Cosa Nostra. We need the RICO case to be tried in public and not hid like the Kauai's Serial Killer. Most people did not know that there use to be a KPD cop that would pull girls over and told them that I they did not want the ticket then they would have to have sex with him. Dirty little secrets are starting to expose Kauai's Corruption.

Anonymous said...

OK. I listened to the Mundon argument. The justice said the problem was with how the original first case was charged. That was charged by De Costa's bunch. The justice also said the prosecutor was not allowed to charge the sex assault charge in the second case because of what happened in the first case. That means nobody in the prosecutors office could do anything about it after the first trial.

Anonymous said...

3:16pm: Not correct. Listen to it again. Amongst their chief concerns, the Supreme Court expressed displeasure in the trial attorney, Shaylene, improperly bringing in evidence and testimony that Mundon was already acquitted of in the first trial. In other words Shaylene is responsible if the lone remaining sex offense is overturned.