After the rain came the brightness of a moon that will be full tomorrow, a moon that slipped behind Makaleha and left the stars to do the lighting as the fog crept out of the cold, wet pastures and swirled across the road, the dogs and me.
Once again, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.'s administration is swirling with controversy, what with Personnel Director Malcolm Fernandez getting axed this week by the Civil Service Commission, whose members are appointed by the mayor. So what do you think? Is Human Resources Manager Janine Rapozo, a staunch Carvalho loyalist, going to slide right into that position? Or more to the point, was that opening created specifically for her?
And coming up on next week's County Council agenda, the County Attorney is asking for permission to settle the lawsuit that Rebecca Vogt filed against former Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho last September. As I previously reported, Vogt claimed that she was passed over for pay raises because she did not support Shay's failed re-election campaign and experienced retaliation 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.
Since filing that complaint, things have brightened up considerably for Vogt. She was not only kept on when Prosecutor Justin Kollar assumed office, but was named second deputy and presumably given a raise.
Anyway, I hope she's as public about her settlement as she was about her lawsuit, since the public really should know how much the former prosecutor's Shaynanigans cost the county. Plus I'm sure all of us who have endured bad bosses are curious to learn how much such suffering is worth. How exactly do you calculate, in monetary terms, the anguish of discovering less experienced deputies are earning more than your own $80,000 annual salary?
While we're on the topic of lawsuits, Environment Hawaii is reporting that the state Department of Transportation is facing possible federal criminal indictments by the Department of Justice:
On December 20, DOJ attorneys informed the Department of Transportation that its lights are causing unlawful takes of birds, sea turtles, and moths protected by the two laws. According to a memo to the state’s chief procurement officer from state attorneys, “Although counsel for DOJ stated that the investigation is statewide, the priority is on O`ahu, where DOJ claims a considerable number of wedge-tailed shearwaters … have been supposedly injured by DOT lights.” The DOJ has told the state that it can enter into a plea agreement or face a criminal trial.
KIUC and Kauai County found themselves in a similar predicament two years ago because their lights were killing endangered seabirds. Both ended up reaching a plea agreement with DOJ, though KIUC burned through some serious legal fees by waiting until the eve of its criminal trail to settle.
It seems the feds are paying attention to what happens in Hawaii, at least, environmentally.