Such splendid scenes — Jupiter sandwiched between Makalii and red Aldebaran directly overhead in an inky sky ablaze with sparkling stars; Waialeale frosted like a cake with pink-purple piping as Makaleha blushed rose in the first rays of the sun. Lookin' good!
What doesn't look so good is Prosecutor Justin Kollar hiring County Attorney Al Castillo's wife, Genalyn, as a receptionist for the Office of Prosecuting Attorney. Especially when Justin was repeatedly accused, during the bitter prosecutor's campaign, of being Al's boy.
What looks even worse is Al being involved in a settlement with deputy prosecutor Becky Vogt — who sued Shay, but was chosen as Justin's second deputy — while his wife is working at the OPA. Even if she isn't being directly supervised by Becky.
It all creates the appearance of cronyism and conflict of interest — and gives their enemies ammunition.
In this case, former Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, who showed up at yesterday's County Council meeting with her longtime henchman, Jake Delaplane, inexplicably in tow. There, she spent her six minutes waging the kind of attack that Shay does so well, full of hypocrisies, paranoia and half-truths (maybe quarter-truths), played for the sake of the TV camera.
Shay alleged Becky's suit was totally without merit before claiming, as she has ad nauseam, that she was victimized by Al, who “went on a rampage” to settle the other EEOC claims that beleaguered employees had filed against her in an attempt to make her look bad. Waaah! Yawn.
Shay went on to up the ante by saying:
It is my opinion that the County Attorney (CA), Justin Kollar and Becky Vogt concocted this scheme to sway the election in favor of Kollar with the promise that she would be rewarded not only with the gigantic pay increase she was desperately craving, but also a supervisory position with the 2 year minimal experience she possessed, even though several attorneys in the office that were retained by Kollar had 20 years of experience over her.
The Garden Island reports Becky got a $25,000 settlement, which seems like a lot, considering she ultimately got a promotion and a $10,000 annual raise, and took a prolonged paid sick leave while other deputies slogged on through the ugliest last days of the campaign.
Anyway, Shay, who conveniently forgot she promoted newbie Jake over far more seasoned deputies, went on to make some other claims about Al supposedly thwarting investigations and engaging in secret negotiations. She then delivered her final jab, accusing him of settling with Becky in exchange for his wife getting a job, before winding down with a satisfied smile.
Councilman Gary Hooser suggested Al be allowed to respond, saying the public had heard just one side of the story. “Some of the allegations are serious,” Gary said.
“I refuse to dignify any of the allegations made by Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho,” Al said.
Which is fine, but it didn't look so good when Al refused to answer publicly whether his wife works for OPA and is supervised by Becky. Because that is public record. Even Council Chair Jay Furfaro chastised Al, saying he was being disrespectful by not replying.
“I'm very disappointed the County Attorney has chosen not to answer a simple, basic question,” Gary said. At which point Al finally acknowledged that his wife does work for OPA, though Becky is not her supervisor.
Of course Councilman Mel Rapozo gleefully jumped in the fray, getting in some serious digs at his old enemy Al and accusing him of conflict of interest.
Although frankly, it doesn't look good for Al to be handling a case involving the OPA when his wife works there — especially when the county had hired special counsel to deal with it.
Mel also questioned whether Councilman Tim Bynum has a conflict of interest, since he is suing Shay and the county, which prompted Tim to say he'd gotten clearance from the Board of Ethics.
Of course, Mel conveniently forgot his own longstanding conflict of interest when he was actually working for Shay, but still voting on OPA matters and doing battle for Shay at Council.
Ugh. Is it any wonder that people have no faith in our county government? Could you guys at least try to make it look a little less sleazy?
Speaking of which, the mayor has appointed his boy John Isobe, the former director of county Boards and Commissions, to the planning commission, a supposedly independent body. As if. I mean, come on. There weren't any other suitable candidates?
Like I said, none of it looks good. Because it isn't.