Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Musings: OPA Stone Walling

It was more moonlight than daylight when Koko and Paele and I went out walking on this most momentous day, when Venus transits the Sun. It will be webcast live from the Keck telescopes, and you can also get a lot of great info at A Darker View.

Yet even at that very early hour, the still, cool air was already vibrating with the sound of bees working the zillions of albezzia blossoms that formed a feathery white canopy overhead.

The latest political buzz centers around Gary Hooser's bid for a Kauai County Council seat. He quite ably served on that panel from 1998 to 2002, before going on to spend eight years as our one and only state Senator. After losing a bid for lieutenant governor, which in hindsight was probably a blessing in disguise, given the tenor of the Abercrombie reign, the guv appointed him director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control.

And now he's back, and I'm already looking ahead two years, when he can challenge Mayor Bernard Carvalho. Not that Gary has confided any such plans, but it's not an unrealistic scenario, considering he's a slam dunk for the Council. The only question is who will be bumped off to accommodate him, and I'm wagering it won't be Nadine Nakamura, JoAnn Yukimura or Tim Bynum, who plans to file his re-election papers today.

Guess no one is going to challenge Ron Kouchi, who lucked out and won Gary's senate seat due to lack of competition after being voted off the Council. Ron's got to be vulnerable, and I imagine Rep. Jimmy Tokioka is, too, but face it: state Lege is a sucky job when you live on the outer islands and have to commute to Honolulu and hang out in the gritty city and deal with colleagues who think the world centers around Oahu.

In other matters, I've been having one helluva time trying to get some public records from the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. Specifically, in my April 16 request I asked for :

1. All email correspondence between Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho and/or Jake Delaplane and/or Strategic Justice Partners LLC and/or Kirk Barrus from June 2010 to present. [Strategic Justice is the company that listed Jake as its agent and the OPA office as its address, and Barrus is its president.]

2. All email correspondence between Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho and the Kauai County Council/Mayor from Jan. 1, 2012 to present.

3. All Requests for Proposals for services related to Kauai Office of Prosecuting Attorney POHAKU program.

4. All signed contracts related to Kauai Office of Prosecuting Attorney POHAKU program.

5. All invoices and expenditures related to Kauai Office of Prosecuting Attorney POHAKU program. If invoices and expenditures are not specified as being related to POHAKU program, then all invoices and expenditures related to Kauai Office of Prosecuting Attorney from June 2011 to present.

Since I'm media, I have to go through County spokeswoman Beth Tokioka, who has been quite prompt and helpful in filling other OIP requests. She quickly replied:

I checked with Purchasing and there are no records for #3 and #4, and for the first sentence of #5.

That tell us a lot right there, in regards to Shay's failure to comply with the state procurement law. Over the course of several emails, Beth and I discussed ways to narrow my request so that it wouldn't be too onerous and expensive to fulfill, especially since I was asking for a public interest fee waiver. On April 30, which met the 10 business days deadline for responding, I got a formal acknowledgement from Beth, stating that in regards to items 1 and 2,

Agency must consult with another person to determine whether the record is exempt from disclosure under chapter 92F, HRS. Request requires extensive agency efforts to search, review, or segregate the records, or otherwise prepare the records for inspection or copying. Agency requires additional time to respond to the request in order to avoid an unreasonable interference with its other statutory duties and functions. 

Under law,  the county was supposed to inform me, within 20 business days:

Whether the agency intends (1) to disclose the record; (2) to deny access to all or part of the information in the requested record, identifying the portions that will not be disclosed and justifying the nondisclosure; or that the agency is unable to disclose the record for the reasons given. The notice will also include the agency’s good faith estimate of all fees that will be charged to the requester under section 2-71-19, HAR and the amount of prepayment required by the agency, if any.

OK, fair enough, it's a lot of stuff, and I know Shay has already claimed the fifth to avoid disclosing some of this same material to the Council. 

Then on May 15, I got an email from Jake, that he copied to Beth, Shaylene and Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Winn. In it, he referenced my original request and noted that only certain parts would be fulfilled. The materials to be withheld would be:

Emails and documents that contain information not subject to disclosure under the Chapter 92 HRS provisions.

However, the actual applicable statutes and agency justification for withholding would not be determined until they reviewed the documents, like they don't already know what's in them. And here's the clincher: To even get them to go look at those documents, so they could tell me they wouldn't turn them over, I would have to kick down:

Prepayment of fees and costs of $ 250.88 (50% of fees +100% of costs, as estimated below, spread throughout 4 incremental disclosures. Remaining 50% of fees ($156.50) due after each disclosure and before next increment will be provided.

Here's how they pulled figures out of the air, I mean, estimated the costs:

Fees: Search Estimate of time to be spent: 8 hours $ 80
($2.50 for each 15-minute period)
Review & segregation Estimate of time to be spent: 61 hours $ 1232
($5.00 for each 15-minute period)
Fees waived general ($30) X public interest ($60) 
Total Estimated Fees: $ 1252

Costs: Copying Estimate of # of pages to be copied: 1500 $ 377.50
(@ $ .50 for first 10 pages, .25 each page thereafter )
Total Estimated Costs: $ 377.50

***Note to requestor: The fees outlined above represent the total fees and costs associated with your request. The fees and costs will be spread over 4 incremental disclosures. The total payment required for each incremental disclosure will be $407.38.***

Such a deal. They weren't even going to charge for the magic marker to redact all the good stuff. Needless to say, I didn't bite. I emailed Jake, and copied Shaylene, that my request had been greatly narrowed, and his estimate did not reflect that. I got no word back. On May 18, I sent the following email, again copying his boss:

In the interest of simplicity, minimizing impact on OPA staff time and eliminating costs, I'd like to narrow my original request to the following:

#4 -- A copy of the OPA's contract with Strategic Justice Partners. 

#5 -- All invoices and expenditures related to the Pohaku program.

I am aware that Purchasing does not have any of these documents, so I'm looking for any of these documents that are on file in OPA's office.  I'd be glad to come in and look at them so no copying charges are generated. And since the scope of my request has been greatly narrowed, it seems that you should be able to review the documents in question and let me know if you anticipate any being withheld under HRS 92, and your justification for doing so.

Needless to say, I received no word back from Jake and Shay, even though they are required by law to respond with 10 business days. So I've turned the matter over to the Office of Information Practices, which this morning said they would be assigning the case to an investigator.

In the meantime, Beth fulfilled three other OIP requests I made, two of which involved email from OPA and others. Another, which involved extensive documents from Council Services, was also fulfilled, at no charge, and previously, the Planning Department fulfilled an extensive request, at no charge. I'll have future posts dealing with all of these.

So it's quite clear that Shay and Jake are trying to stonewall the release of public records — even if it means thumbing their nose at the law by blowing off my request. Once again, it's not the kind of example you want to see the Prosecutor's office set. 


Anonymous said...

Is POHAKU a good program? If so, let's keep it. If procedures weren't followed, let's fix that problem. A witch hunt (no pun intended) is not constructive.

Anonymous said...

How can we know if POHAKU is a good program or procedures weren't followed if the prosecutor takes the fifth whenever anyone asks questions about it?

Anonymous said...

Do we need to setup a fund that people can donate to, to cover these expenses.....in an attempt to get to the truth?

Anonymous said...

Donations to get the truth out will kill more birds with one stone. I say let this get out to the public, this will affect Shay's bid for PA, get Jake's recklessness out in the open, identify POHAKU program as a poipu marathon scam, The people of Kauai will show their support for this action. Corruption cannot reign free and the GOB needs to go down for this Debacle.

Anonymous said...

Why would the prosecutor's office have to give you copies of their emails? That sounds like, kind've really stupid to me.

You wanted their complete email history for 2 years? Did you like really think you'd ever get that?

Also, have you thought maybe they just don't like you, because you are always putting them down like all the time?

Anonymous said...

I would recycle bottles and cans to fund for the truth. I will vote for Tim, Joann, and Gary. The others aren't deserving to represent the people of Kauai. Imua Tim, Joann, Gary! Mahalo for all that you do!

Joan Conrow said...

To, like 10:27 am:

I's like, called the public record because it's the public's business, like, you know, conducted with taxpayer money, which means, like, they are legally required to turn it over, regardless of whether they like me.

Unless, of course, they can justify withholding it under provisions outlined under state law.

Anonymous said...

No response to your request? Maybe the documents were accidentally shredded.

Anonymous said...

Joan, I appreciate your background, knowledge and tenacity to obtain public records not only on Pohaku but on any of our government dealings. Some of our politicians (parasites) representing the public have their own interests as a priority that negates any oath they took when taking and holding public office. Parasites need a host and the County of Kauai has proven time and again to be fertile ground. How do we stop this invasive species from multiplying and infecting healthy and caring minds? Your guess is as good as mine.

Anonymous said...

Private emails are public record? That's news to me. The last time I checked, public records were kept by a custodian of record, who chronicled, organized, and maintained that record on a daily basis. I highly doubt anyone's doing that for the prosecutor's personal email correspondence between the prosecutors and anyone else, public official or not.

I've never seen you get so petty in a response before. What the hell was that? It looks like a 17 yr old girl took an interest in your blog and you belittled her for questioning you by making fun of the way she talked. Are you a grown woman or just a childish bitch?

Anonymous said...

hardly think that that was an interested 17 y.o.
that joan responded to.; they , like have so much better things to do w/thier lives than, like comment on blogs about OPA !

Anonymous said...

Go get 'em, Joan! You must be getting too close to exposing the truth. That contract must have some juicy stuff if they don't want to share it with anyone. Last commenter: are you Shayme, Jake or Melfeasance?

Anonymous said...

wow, look lik childish bitch to me!

Anonymous said...

Keep the fight on! What Bin Laden did to terrorize the world, What Saddam did to the people of Iraq, What Hitler did to the Jews, What Madoff did to his Investors, What Cigarette companies do to the health of all, What Banks did to loyal customers, What the collapse of our industries and housing market did to America by big corporations, What GMO's do to our food, water, and soil, the many injustices were fought be people like Joan. Kauai needs to stand up against people like Shay, Jake, Mel, and the rest of the GOB that ruin our island. Yes Kauai is all of us and it is a beautiful island to share and protect against evil so keep the fight on!

Anonymous said...

Time for Kauai's MOB to face the music and taste the justice that they deserve. Deep down in the jungle or right up their alley of dakness that they've created another person loses their life for their financial gain. Keep the light on

Anonymous said...

Spin Spin Spin... read the article and the information Joan is seeking. It's regarding Pohaku, Jake, Shay, Strategic Justice Partners, contracts between SJP and the OPA, correspondence between the major players, and expenditures and invoices. These are all information free to the press unless criminal or civil lawsuits are pending. So the 17 yr girl analogy has no valid argument in your attempt to disguise the OPA's stall and camouflage techniques.

Anonymous said...

Wow, looks like rats running for cover to me. Shine the light, Joan.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Shay create and patent POHAKU? So who the heck is SJP, County of Kauai and the OPA should sue them for program infringement. Shay said this is her own one of a kind program that she masterfully developed. Something Smells a little fishy (stink manini) at 3990 Kaana St suite 210, Lihue, Hawaii 96766 and it looks orange and black.

Anonymous said...

alley of darkness? what hitler did to the jews? rats running for cover? parasites infecting healthy caring minds?

Who are you drama freaks? overreact much?

Yea "go get em Joan." "shine the light Joan!" rofl, wierdos.

Anonymous said...

I hope the AG can kollar that prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

Ever wonder how Jake and Shay can pretend their house of cards isn't falling apart?

Anonymous said...

Laugh Now :) , Cry Later :( Don't Mess With KARMA

Anonymous said...

"Who are you drama freaks? overreact much?"

I object! That is ridiculous! How dare you write that!

Anonymous said...

June 5, 2012 2:52 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Shay create and patent POHAKU?

No. Craig de Costa did.

Anonymous said...

I had mentioned Kollarʻs lack of cultural sensitivity/knowledge and was criticized and laughed at for it.

I had a particular reason for saying that and it is because over the years, these new white boys from the states zero in on locals to make their careers because they are easy targets and the fact that they are usually racist. They go after locals for many insignificant and unsubstantiated charges, THEN trump up the charges.

When Kollar was on the radio I asked him what is the law regarding ex-felons and voting. He said they canʻt vote in Hawaii. When I corrected him, he said heʻd have to look into Hawaii law on that. hmmmmm. I feel so secure he knows what heʻs doing now. This was a particularly important question because heʻs running for office. Go figure.

So, for anyone who is an ex felon: you have the right to vote and donʻt let someone who is supposed to know but does not, keep you from the polls...Hawaii NEEDS your vote!

Ok, then. Now all of the lily whites out there that are closet criminals (never been caught) can have a go at my comment.

Anonymous said...

Mahalo nui loa for your tenacious investigation of Chez Shayme Cherie.....no one else seems to be doing much about it.

When Gary told me he wanted to go to Washington,(Got corruption?) I told him he would be like a "lamb going to the slaughter house" and that we need him here on Kauai.

I told him to run for Mayor, but he thought he could not defeat the current do-nothing mayor who is supported by the good ole boys.

Glad he is finally doing something worth while. He is a good man.

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

So explain why Jake, just off the jet from Alabama and still figuring out the difference between his okole and a hole in the ground, is second in command under Shay?

Anonymous said...


He's not smart enough to see the storm coming.

Employee retention and honesty were never part of of the queen's gameplan.

Go Get'em Joan!

Anonymous said...

No, Shay did. She said it many times to the paper. Was she lying?

Anonymous said...

Hey Joan Conrow: Like, go fuck urself k?

Anonymous said...

So what came first the chicken or the egg? Did Shay or Craig create the Pohaku program? Shay has said many a times that this marvelous program was her creation. Craig was before Shay and Jake was after Craig that was with SJP, so what came with the contract, exenditures, and invoices, the chicken or the egg?

Anonymous said...

10 am -- oh, that's mature....

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work! Someone has to expose this corruption / ineptitude and TGI isn't making any effort in this area. Shay is an embarassment and quite possibly a criminal depending on how things shake out.

Anonymous said...

According to the April 20, 2011 Garden Island article, "Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri Carvalho rolled out her plans for a restorative justice program known as "Project "P.O.H.A.K.U." Shay would love to blame someone else for the program now that she's been exposed.

Anonymous said...

Anybody but Hooser

Anonymous said...

Pohaku is starting to add up like the cost per mile for the Bike Path. I'm at a lost for words of how do they get away with these crimes. I guess I'll look up the words shall and may to get a better understanding of how in the heck the county of kauai operates. Maybe their using Dr Speer's procedural standards, Kusaka good job, these fools have learnt well. Maybe we could finally see the Kealia Kai property that you received as a bribe.

Anonymous said...

How's Kusaka's conscious doing, knowing 8 lives were killed from the Ka Loko Dam breach. Does she have a conscious? Does she have a heart? Shibai bachi karma

Will Pohaku be covered up like the Ka Loko Dam breach? Will Pohaku be covered up like all the unsolved murders, murders made to look like suicides, unreported missing people, and there's more to follow.

Loko 'ino Ku, o ma ia moku aina

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of you are becoming infected and seriously hateful...
what do you mean: will POHAKU be covered up? Is it a crime now?

Itʻs a program thatʻs working for kids. Itʻs not taking tons of money like the marathon.

Anonymous said...

ya seriously, you are comparing a jail diversion program to murder cover up conspiracy theories. The good news is that crazy crackpot conspiracy theorists are always, ALWAYS on the losing side of just about everything. You morons sound like the guy on the corner preaching that the end of the world is near. Keep preaching it bois.

Anonymous said...

It's a crime if they did not follow the State of Hawaii and County of Kauai procurement laws. It's called a white collared crime, research the Costa planning department debacle and edumacate urself young blood.

Anonymous said...

You spit and slap the faces of all the unsolved murdered victims, their families, friends and coworkers. You shall see judgment and may be humbled when your time is up. Never Forget Sandra Mendonca, Amber Jackson, Nola, Kagawa, Westside raped and murdered ladies, and the rest of the 20 plus unsolved murders on Kauai. Pohaku is a reflection of how business is done on Kauai and their crimes are too many to mention but Pohaku is surely one of the crimes committed by the GOB.

Anonymous said...

The Corruption and Abuse of Power is out of control on Kauai!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Was Jake Delaplane an IT specialst for SJP before pohaku or after pohaku?

Is this Ethics violation HR B84-13, HRS B84-15, 84-16, Hawaii const art. XIV,
HRS BB84-3, 84-17, Senate Rule 81, House Rule 28.1.

Get on it County of Kauai Council or bow down the Queen and her Loyal Pawn.

Anonymous said...

This discussion has gotten a little out of control. The issue of POHAKU is not the program it is the typical Shay response - disagree with me and I will pull out all the stops to fight back. The best defense is a strong offense.


Your an attorney I dont like so any case you handel I will take to the mat... on the other hand your an attorney I like or who will say nice things about me so your cases get sweetheart plea bargins or outright dismissed.

Justice has spoken.

Anonymous said...

You are so correct, Bullseye!

Anonymous said...

Sorry there are no private emails for public officials unless it is covered under attorney client privledge.

Public government people, your government, keep make requests, they can't keep it secret forever.

Anonymous said...

Yes, um, what is it?

Anonymous said...

The narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by people who exhibit most of the following

Reacts to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
May take advantage of others to reach their own goals
Tends to exaggerate their own importance, achievements, and talents
Imagines unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
Easily becomes jealous
Lacks empathy and disregards the feelings of others
Obsessed with oneself
Mainly pursues selfish goals
Trouble keeping healthy relationships
Is easily hurt and rejected
Sets unrealistic goals
Wants "the best" of everything

The symptoms of Narcissistic personality disorder can be similar to the traits of individuals with strong self-esteem and confidence; differentiation occurs when the underlying psychological structures of these traits are considered pathological. Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others. Yet, they have a fragile self-esteem and cannot handle criticism, and will often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth. It is this sadistic tendency that is characteristic of narcissism as opposed to other psychological conditions affecting level of self-worth.

Anonymous said...

Are you calling out Ron Kouchi, Derek Kawakami, Beth Tokioka, Jay Furafaro, Mel Rapozo, Kipukai Kualii and the most dangerous of them all Shaylene Iseri Carvalho or is this a new FDA hazardous health label?

Anonymous said...

You forgot PD Dahilig in your list narcissistic personalities.

Fragile, handle with care.