The Kauai County Council yesterday killed a thinly veiled attempt to give defeated Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri a job at the police department.
Councilmen Mel Rapozo, Ross Kagawa and KipuKai Kualii, all longtime Shay supporters, supported Mel's bill to allocate $124,165 to create a legal analyst at KPD. Shay wasn't in the Council Chambers yesterday, but she testified in support of the position at last week's meeting of the Council's Budget and Finance Committee, which failed to endorse the proposal.
Though everyone seemed to agree that KPD needs some legal support, they differed on how to provide it. County Attorney Mauna Kea Trask suggested a deputy position be created within his department that could serve both KPD and the county's overall legal needs. Though an analyst could do some of the work that KPD needs, such as assisting with accreditation, he/she couldn't offer legal advice, render a legal opinion or sign off on policies.
“I did not want to be put in the position of creating division between the KPD and the County Administration,” Mauna Kea said. “There's been enough of that already. I like to think I can always find a silver lining, and I like to try. Given what they [KPD] want, and the job that needs to be done, a deputy county attorney gets the job done.”
“It basically comes down to control. Who does that position report to?” said Deputy Chief Michael Contrades.
Mauna Kea said the deputy county attorneys have legal and ethical obligations to the county, regardless of whether they're assigned to KPD or his office.
Ross noted that under Mel's bill, Police Chief Darryl Perry would be able to choose who he wants, whereas he would only be able to weigh in on the selection of a deputy county attorney.
“That's why this was done, so the Chief can hire who he wants,” Mel said.
Who the chief wants? Or who Mel and the boys want? We all know that Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. would never hire Shay for the county attorney's office.
And indeed, after her blatant abuse of power in the Office of Prosecuting Attorney, which prompted voters to toss her out on her ear, she should never hold another position in county or state government.
Councilman Aryl Kaneshiro departed from his usual place with the “gang of four” to vote against the measure, saying a deputy attorney position offered "the biggest bang for the buck.”
KipuKai termed the deputy position "overkill," while Mel said it was an effort to prevent the chief from having any power.
Then Mel and Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura got in a tiff because she wanted to make another comment, and he wanted to have the last word.
I got no problem with giving Chief Perry some power. But giving him Shay ain't the way to do it.
In other news, foes of the Mahaulepu dairy have decided that the best defense is an unrelenting offense. By jumping the gun, and presenting a petition opposing the dairy to Gov. Ige before the EIS has been completed, they've shown they have absolutely no intention of even considering the EIS that they demanded.
So what does it prove, that Friends of Mahaulepu were able to gather 3,300 signatures from their fellow naysayers? I mean, other than it's easy to get people to oppose something before they have all the facts, which they can't possibly, given the absence of the EIS.
It also proves that the Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation of Kauai, both of which supported the petition drive, can't be bothered with gathering the facts, or waiting for studies, before taking an opposing stand.
Is it any surprise that all three groups lack credibility?