Let's see, what's on tap for today?
Those concerned about pesticide use may want to check out a short piece I wrote for Honolulu Weekly about a lawsuit against an Oahu golf course filed by attorneys Kyle Smith and Gerard Jervis. They're the same guys who filed suit on behalf of 150 Kauai residents living near Pioneer Hi-Bred International's genetically modified seed corn fields at Waimea.
What I find interesting is that they're taking a new approach to challenging pesticide use by filing lawsuits based primarily on how the chemicals affect property rights, as opposed to human health. It makes sense, because let's face it, American courts are a lot more sympathetic to someone's property being damaged than their health or the environment. It's easier to prove, too.
In the meantime, I just can't understand why someone would actually pay a premium to live next to a golf course, when links are regularly dosed with some really toxic stuff. And what about the poor albatross that nest there, and the nene that graze on the grass?
Following up on yesterday's post about the administration's disparate handling of complaints filed by employees in the prosecutor's office and police and planning departments, I asked county spokeswoman Beth Tokioka for a comment:
I'm sure this response is not a surprise to you, but we can't comment on the manner in which complaints are handled. Each one has to be considered based on the circumstances involved and how a timely and thorough investigation can be conducted. There is no "cookie cutter" response to an employee complaint. What works for one scenario may be completely inappropriate for another.
No, that answer is not a surprise.
Nor was it a surprise, though it is disheartening, to learn that yet another of Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho's deputies has bit the dust. Tracy Murakami, the last of the deputies sworn in with Shay back in 2008, resigned her position yesterday. And then there were none....
Oddly, Shay reportedly advised her deputies yesterday that they would be receiving pay cuts, supposedly because the mayor had reduced their budget. How can that be, when Shay has been unable to keep all her positions filled and so regularly has significant unspent funds? And will the cuts be across the board, or only given to those who didn't buy the $100 tickets to her recent fundraiser at Kauai Beach Resort?
I was a little surprised when I happened to tune in to the Council's webcast yesterday for the Koloa Camp resolution — it passed, not that it's likely to make a difference — and caught the exchange between two arch enemies: Shay and Councilman Tim Bynum.
A lot has been said about Shay on this blog in recent weeks, so if you want to see her in action, it's worth going to the webcast and forwarding to the 4:47:53 point. That's where she tries to claim that Tim can't speak about her request to hire a law clerk because she's prosecuting him on a criminal case, and so they can't converse without permission of his attorney.
When Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura says that rule doesn't apply in this situation, at about the 4:56:04 point, Shay looks like she's about to fly out of her chair and take her on. Tim, his voice shaking, said he'd been precluded from asking questions about the victim-witness program for almost three years. After he was prevented from talking to Shay the last time she was before the Council, he'd gone to the Board of Ethics, which said there was no conflict in him speaking with her and voting on matters concerning Council business.
Still Shay wouldn't budge, saying the BOE had nothing to do with it. At that point, Jay called a recess and the county attorney's office brought in reinforcements, reading aloud the pertinent law, which made it clear Tim could talk to Shay about the agenda item. But Shay again came back swinging, saying Tim wanted to talk about the victim-witness program, which would violate the sunshine law, as the agenda item only addressed a law clerk position.
Council Chairman Jay Furfaro, looking like he was suffering from indigestion, had been bending over backwards to smooth the waters and placate Shay throughout the entire exchange. He finally asked the Council to continue the item for another week, to a special meeting at which only that one issue would be addressed, in hopes the delay would “maybe settle some temperment that might exist here.”
But even then Shay made a big deal about having to consult her busy schedule before telling the Council she could squeeze them in at 8 a.m. next Wednesday. JoAnn voted against the delay, as did one Councilman, although I couldn't tell who it was.
Through it all, I was amazed at the power Shay was wielding, even though she was coming to the Council for approval to spend money, and so was at its mercy. It's really quite remarkable to watch Shay hold sway, and it explains both why she has enemies, and how she got to where she is.
Still, I couldn't help but feel a little sickened by it all, especially since the Council had delayed giving a certificate to a victorious Kauai High School girls' sports team so that it could accommodate Shay. For half an hour they had to sit there and watch that tense, unpleasant exchange, and all I could think was, study hard, kiddies, or you could end up here.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Musings: Holding Sway
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Shay looks and sounds crazy, again.
I am not a fan of Shay, but she is right on BOTH counts. Tim is still under prosecution and he should recuse himself; there is too much a cloud of vindictiveness regarding staff hiring while he is on trial. On the second issue, she is right again because it was not on the agenda and it indeed violates the sunshine law.
Sure Shay, whatever you say.
Look at the alternative.
I hope somebody besides Justin Kollar runs
Keep talking Shay, you sound better each time. Keep trying.
Only people voting for Shay are her family.
I like Justin.
Nice article, a little brief and spare in details. Would like to know how the pesticide lawsuit comes out, follow up?
After all is said and done, Tim Bynum is a wormy guy and in his wormy ways brought all this on himself.
Justin Kollar is a climber and still wet behind the ears.
I will vote for Shaylene. I am not family.
Shay is sooo ethical. The rule prohibits her from talking to someone represented by counsel, so maybe she should send her non-attorney underlings to the council. It was funny when she said that she had to go to a pretrial conference when she doesn't have any caseload.
The most important case in her office and Shay is hiring an assistant to prepare the exhibits and the motions for trial? She dumped that case on another lawyer. So much for all that off island training being put to good use. Why not send some of the rookies in her office to get trained? At least they'd make use of it.
Shay wouldn't need another "law office assistant" if she and Jake actually did legal work. She's rarely in the office and she and Jake hardly ever go to court. They're too busy with the "senior fraud" program, and guess who's perpetrating the fraud? And what's up with Jake not being qualified to be the prosecutor (he doesn't have the qualifications required by the County Charter)? If something happened to Shay, someone else would have to take over because he can't. Also, the Pohaku program is a big scam. She's using it to campaign for re-election. The Council has to exercise its oversight function because she's running amok.
Is Shay the best and the brightest person we have as prosecutor?
Do we Kauai-ans have to be ashamed to have an out of control Ego maniac trying to control everything in her midst?
Has her self aggrandizement gone to her head?
What a role model for young women, eh?
Tim has an obvious conflict of interest with the Prosecutor's Office. While he is undergoing trial, he should recuse himself from any of these discussions. Either Joann is mis-represented here or Joann is obviously wrong on this issue. In regard to the Board of Ethics, they are either wrong or Tim is mis-representing what they actually ruled on specifically.
Oversight, what oversight, the Council has given her a free ride and she has made it clear she will retaliate if you even dare to question her so they don’t. All the while her office is in shambles. Look how she reacted when Yukimura disagreed. Telling. She made two different assertions to keep Bynum from speaking, both clearly proven wrong. Then the Council reconvenes when Bynum isn’t even in the room so he’s not allowed to speak again.
But boy is she powerful! woah! strong woman man!! If she were 20 years younger......
So it is OK to prosecute a bogus charge to silence a critic?
Yeah, if you disagree with Shay, you're obviously wrong regardless of the facts.
Of course you will vote for yourself Shay.
Yes, Andrew, I will continue to cover that pesticide lawsuit as it evolves.
The conflict of interest is Shay's, not Tim's. She should recuse herself and let the AG handle Tim's case. Her bias was revealed when she was informed by Ian Costa that Tim's rental was legal but she continued to pursue the case. It is unprecedented for the prosecutor to get involved in a zoning matter before it gets referred to the prosecutor. Shay also misrepresented the rule regarding communications with someone represented by counsel. That rule prohibits communications regarding the case, not all communications. The county attorney read the rule verbatim and established that Shay either does not know the rules of professional conduct or deliberately misled the council.
Shay lied. Shay lies.
The Chair could/should have done something.
Those young women should not have had to wait on a public servant to exert her power trip.
Lying to a camera? Recording her misunderstanding of the clearly written law? And she wants to do what FOR THE PUBLIC?
Public officials serve who again?
"But boy is she powerful! woah! strong woman man!! If she were 20 years younger......"
. . . she'd still be scary (or getting her boyfriend to "shop" for cosmetics)
Shay: I'm here to ask for permission to spend money to fill a position that I just got rid of a few months ago. But before I begin, Tim, shut up. We're pounding you because I can.
Tim: B-b-but. . .
Shay: I said shut up! The law says that you have to shut up. You can't talk when I'm here.
Tim: B-b-b-but . . .
Shay: Do I have to come over there and stop you from talking?? The law is clear.
Joann: No, it's not. Let him talk. You're so mean.
Shay: You want a piece too? Shut up.
Mel: You go, girl. I used to work for her and I know she's right. The law doesn't allow Tim to talk when Shay is in the room.
Jay: Let's ask the county attorney. Their legal analysis is always so insightful.
County Attorney: I think he should be allowed to speak.
Shay: You too. Shut up. It doesn't matter what the law says. Just give me the fucking money already. I have to catch a plane to the "How to be an effective manager" seminar and Jake is waiting outside with the motor running. Hope he packed my bags correctly. He can really screw things up sometimes.
He, he, he. Giggle.
Snap, crackle, and pop.
Priceless, the playwright!!!!
I hope all those high schoolers waiting in the wing register to vote, and when they do vote, they vote for Kollar.
If everyone knows that two married people are having a publicly known affair, why are they still married?
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