I've been hearing from people who don't leave comments, but instead call or email or chat with me in person, sharing their point of view on some of the happenings covered by this blog. Most recently, it's been the governor's meeting and the rash of suits and settlements involving Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho.
Is it possible, I've been asked, that County Attorney Al Castillo and Shay's enemies in the Administration really are cooking this stuff up to "get her," that folks are piling on when they see other people getting money?
I understand the incredulity. It is tough to imagine that one person could generate four EEOC complaints and two lawsuits, with so much occurring this close to the election. But it's important to remember that some of these actions have been in the works for a while.
There may well have been some politics involved in the timing of the EEOC settlements involving Erin Wilson and Shannon Weigel, though that doesn't undermine the validity of their complaints. Shannon told me her complaint, filed two years ago, languished for a while until she recently heard the EEOC had issued a finding, prompting her to wonder if someone had recently come forth with information. And some time did lapse between the negotiated resolution of Erin's complaint and its final settlement, as in check in hand, allowing her to publicly speak.
It's hard to know whether any of that was intentional, or due to the typically glacial (as in pre-global warming) movement of government.
However, I am convinced, after communicating with both women, that they filed their complaints because they felt genuinely aggrieved. And they insisted on non-confidentiality clauses not as a political stunt, but because they sincerely wanted to ensure that others were not similarly harmed. It's pretty clear that Erin, a victim-witness counselor fired for lack of work even as Shay has claimed an unrelenting rise in crime, was mistreated. It's also a stretch to claim conspiracy when the EEOC, a federal agency not likely in the pocket of either Al or the mayor, found cause, after conducting its own investigation, to believe that Shannon was the victim of racial harassment.
Was Al trying to burn Shay by settling these cases, rather than duking it out in court? Is the county "an easy touch?" It's possible. But it's equally possible he was trying to chose an option that would cost the county the least amount of money. Trials can be expensive, especially if you lose. In any case, a plaintiff armed with an EEOC finding has a pretty strong claim. And we have seen the county go to great lengths when it believes it has a strong case. Witness the protracted proceedings against Mike Sheehan's boatyard.
My understanding of Rebecca Vogt's suit is she wanted to deal with the issue ASAP. Was she inspired by the settlements given to Shannon and Erin? I don't know. But that was their intention — to give other county workers the courage to speak up against discriminatory behavior, especially in the prosecutor's office, which is charged with upholding the law and securing justice for victims.
Aren't these complaints kind of manini? several people have asked. Perhaps. Unless it's happening to you — and unless the perp is the county prosecutor, who more than anyone is expected to know and follow the law. Andy Parx, in an entertaining and detailed political analysis of Councilman Tim Bynum's lawsuit, paints a vivid description of why the prosecutor's actions are important:
The letter read like the rantings of a lunatic. The only problem is that the lunatic in this case had- and still has, until at least December 1- the discretionary power to imprison people.
Which brings us to Tim, and his very detailed legal complaint.
“A Councilman suing the county. It's unheard of,” one longtime political observer noted.
This is true. But then, I haven't heard of a prosecutor filing criminal charges against a Councilman, either, especially after two deputy county attorneys advised that there was no violation. And it's definitely a new twist — if the allegations are true — if the charges were filed because former Council Chair Kaipo Asing wanted to "get Tim."
“Local people don't like this suing stuff,” one man told me. “They don't like the idea that someone's trying to get money out of the county, especially when he's representing the county.”
Of course, Tim's suit isn't the only one. We've also got the police commission suing the mayor, and from what I hear, EEOC complaints may also be in the works against the mayor and KPD. We'll never hear about these, though, unless the victims decide to speak up, because the information is otherwise confidential.
Shay's troubles apparently aren't over yet, either. The County Attorney's office is back on the Council agenda this Wednesday, asking for another $10,000 for “special counsel's continued representation of the Office of Prosecuting Attorney for POHAKU and related matters.”
"Did Tim file because Becky filed?" someone asked, noting that the actions happened on subsequent days. To my knowledge, the timing was not coordinated.
"How can Tim continue to serve on the Council when he's suing the county?” another person asked. “Isn't that a conflict of interest?”
That's an interesting point, and I don't know the answer. I know some people were advising Tim to hold off on filing until after the election, for fear that it would work against him with the voters. Others thought it was important to get the word out about Shay's shenanigans, even if it meant harming his own re-election bid.
Ultimately, it was Tim who wanted to press ahead. This has been hanging over him for a long time now, and I think he just wanted to move toward some sort of closure.
“Maybe Tim and Shay will end up destroying each other,” one person observed. “Or who knows, maybe they'll end up together again on the Council.”
Yes, in Kauai County government, it seems anything could happen.
But mostly what I hear from people is dismay and disgust. They tell me they're depressed, discouraged, disappointed. Though fascinated by the political intrigue, the twists and turns, they're turned off by the dirty dealings, the dirty tricks.
If there's agreement about anything, it's this: If county officials spent more time focusing on their jobs, and less time figuring out how to set up or get back at their enemies, they might just make some progress in resolving the critical issues that face this island. Not to mention saving the taxpayers a sizable chunk of change.
That's what I hear as well from lifetime residents...disappointment, disgust with the dirty dealings, etc. However, these same folks seem to think that simply ignoring dirty laundry will somehow result in its becoming clean by magic. The people filing the complaints (both EEOC and civil) had the courage to stand up to intimidation, and to take a step to force compliance (although it remains to be seen if compliance with civil rights is something that many folks in county government understand or even contemplate observing). Shooting the messenger is not the solution, and sticking one's head in the sand isn't, either. It's possible that the offenders really do not see the problem with their thinking or behavior...and that's scary. However, I think they do know, and until now have simply not cared "because this is Kaua'i." Perhaps the deluge of charges, suits, and payments will somehow change that archaic and simplistic attitude. This isn't about "preserving the local culture." It's about being civilized.
Hope Hempey takes the County to the Cleaners, Again.
What Tim is doing is commendable.
Gotta vote to re-elect BYNUM on principle.
Need YUKIMURA & HOOSER too.
DEFINITELY need to elect KOLLAR as Prosecuting Attorney.
Tim stonewalled the planning department, refused to let him inspect his property after inspectors saw suspected violations. Tim asked for special treatment. When he got treated like anybody else would be treated, he hired a lawyer.
I'm tired of elected officials acting like they are above the law. Hooser doesn't pay taxes and gets a slap on the wrist. Bynum illegally renting out his unit on agricultural land and yet slams everyone else who lives on Ag land. Kualii getting sweetheart employment deals from YWCA and still insists on voting on issues that are a clear conflict. And Rapozo! This guy might be the worst. He gets contracts from the prosecuting attorneys office and with his sidekick Kualii they try to be the henchmen for Shayme. And I've heard Yukimura ain't innocent either. She developed her Ag land under kalihiwai bridge and fought for her rich buddies to have vacation rentals on Ag land when she lost her bid for mayor.
Stonewalling, hah! Maybe the planning inspectors should have gotten a warrant, if they were so worried about potential violations? I'll assume that anyone who thinks that what the planning inspectors did was ok, is probably one of the planning inspectors who performed the illegal warrantless inspection.
It's shocking to think so many people here really think a rice cooker, a fridge, and a sink make a kitchen.
You are on it like a Flie on Shit, Glad to see that there's others that out there that sees and knows about the corruption on Kauai.
Don't mess with the 'culture' of racism and sexism prevalent throughout the County Departments...that is the lesson learned.
Yes, more people should stand up and say "NO MORE". Hearing day after day racial slurs - becoming immune to the hate that spews daily from certain COK employees is not acceptable. Period.
nobody needs a warrant to go onto a porch. That's what the inspectors did. They did not need a warrant.
"nobody needs a warrant to go onto a porch. That's what the inspectors did. They did not need a warrant."
September 24, 2012 12:27 PM
Did the inspector need a warrant to "window peeping?"
Notice how Bynum first said he altered the property for his elderly father, then for a "friend of the family." Then it turned out to be renters with domestic violence problems. That's how he got busted. His permit was to put a family room.
There are inspectors who can't write a complete sentence, enter in their own inspection reports nor understand the laws that they are suppose to be enforcing.
But sure let them be peeping toms - sounds about right.
Bynum was renting out his new "FAmily Room" to tenants. and now he cries that they looked in the windows to find out his lies so they are the bad guys. Kick that guy out of office.
There was separate trash cans, separate drives, and separate outside cooking grills for the two units. He wasn't trying very hard to hide what he was doing.
Tim should not run for re election if he is sueing the county.
yeah, they need a warrant or the owner's permission to enter the private property to gather evidence or to perform an official inspection. Doesn't matter if it's just the porch, the back yard, the foyer, or the carport...
Unless you sign a USE AGREEMENT that says they can.
Why would anyone need a knife block next to a refrigerator in a family room?
The Attorney General seems to agree that a warrant was required ...
"At that point it appeared that we wouldn’t survive the suppression,” Minatoya said."
That USE agreement wont hold up in court and and it would not allow unlimited lifetime access to private property.
Funny how hard it is to get access to Secrets beach through recorded accesses, yet a Use agreement would allow unlimited to COK inspectors?
>I understand the incredulity. It is tough to imagine that one person could generate four EEOC complaints and two lawsuits, with so much occurring this close to the election.<
I remember hearing similar incredulity from people in the broadcasting business, including fellow lefties, when the Watergate story began to break. Rational people could not comprehend how top officials in the Administration could be THAT stupid and THAT self-destructive, much less why. The story must have been spawned by the Administration's political enemies.
As the evidence became overwhelming, the incredulity of "I don't believe they could have done this" segued to "I don't believe how many of them did this!"
In any month, in large government organizations and small, in city councils and police departments and municipal utilities across the country, investigations are ongoing into the misuse of power by some public official or other. People who act out the same arrogance and love of power which, I am convinced will become clear, motivates Shay.
Shay has totally been exposed. Ok its easy to see that. Guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty. Appears corrupt AND incompetent.
On the other hand, can ANYONE explain what her opponent has been doing for the last year in his $100,000+ a year job?
Everyone knows that attorneys need to account for their time because they are paid so much per hour. Can ANYONE account for what this legal stud has been doing "at work" over the last year? I doubt it. Where are Colder's work sheets, assignments, tasks, results????? If he had any, he would brag on it. He represents KPD for God's sake. But all he can say is Shay is terrible. We dont need him to tell us that. We know already.
Corruption on Kauai? You bet!
This election is a disgrace not only to the so called legal profession" it a disgrace to the entire county. One choice is horrible (Shay), and the other choice is worse (Colder).
Colder should give all his thanks to Shay because her incompetence protects him from anybody looking at what he is really doing every day for his fat paycheck.
The choice is between Shayme or Shyame Jr. Best of luck voters.
Al Castillo and his staff would never wish this on anyone. Al has assembled the most dedicated, honest, staff in decades.
Your incredulous statement is beyond yonders comprehension, words representing the characterization of this so called dream team is an oppression of the truth. Your guidance is in the wrong direction.
What do Shay and Jake do all day? Seminars in Vegas, NY, conferences and training and Senior Fraud and Pohaku and whatevahs. Hard to believe they carry such a heavy caseload. Not.
Andy's blog is gone! Whats up with that?
good thing no named Colder is running for office!
"Was Al trying to burn Shay by settling these cases, rather than duking it out in court?"
He probably got spooked! He was blogging about some deadly people on Kauai.
Al does not settle cases ever . The Council settles cases. You are foolish to duke it out when the claimant has a strong case and what we know about these cases is that they are very strong. Shay is clearly the culprit. Al is just the messenger.
I noticed today from Juanʻs site that Andy has a piece. A long one.
I had to stop reading. Never in my life have I physically felt repulsion from a bunch of words.
The venom is dripping off the page. I am at this point going to assume that Andy Parx is a monk out-of-robe because he will never let go of an indiscretion. At the bottom of these, character assassinations, must be some form of inferiority that has taken on the form of a disease.
I write not for any of the people that are involved in this debate and am still making up my mind, but to read such decades old accusations and embellishments being introduced as evidence is borderline criminal in itself.
Perhaps Mr. Parx should begin a journey of inner reflection and moral inventory and realize that although he may not have sins of notoriety (like the ones that make it to the paper) that some sins are many times far worse; and just because few to none witness these sins has no bearing on their depth-or existence.
"Al does not settle cases ever . The Council settles cases. You are foolish to duke it out when the claimant has a strong case and what we know about these cases is that they are very strong. Shay is clearly the culprit. Al is just the messenger."
BS. Al gets them behind closed doors in executive session and feeds them any bull he wants. Remember when Al and Jung and Dahilig took beer over to Dickie Chang's to strong arm him into supporting the TVR bill?
I agree with you, 8:37.
Do you really think our Council members let Al feed them all kinds of bull in executive sessions? Then they should move to remove him as County Attorney -- are Mel and Kipukai trying to do this? doubt it!
"Do you really think our Council members let Al feed them all kinds of bull in executive sessions?"
He feeds them all kinds of bull in regular sessions on TV in front of everyone. Why would he stop feeding them bull when he gets them in executive session?
"He feeds them all kinds of bull in regular sessions on TV in front of everyone."
There's no denying that.
Well if he feeds our council members "all kinds of bull" then why aren't the council members moving to remove Al as the County Attorney? What's your explanation for that?
Why does Margery Bronster's press release about Bynum's suit against the county say "Mr. Castillo
has offered to make himself available to the media"??? WTF? The county's attorney in the press release of the lawyer suing the county says he's happy to talk to the media about the case? Unprecedented!
Anyone want to bet Al settles this one mere days before the election?
It takes two to settle. Maybe Tim wants his day in court so all the dirt about this litte drama comes out and critics can't claim Al caved.
And maybe Tim wants to add damages from not being elected should he fail to win a seat.
Want to bet Shay and crew HOPE Tim's suit settles quickly: before full discovery is conducted? one can only guess what discovery will reveal in his case.
To anonymous at 8:03 a.m.: all Andy Parx did was quote from the complaint and add a few editorial comments.
It ain't Shay and crew who ought to be worried about discovery. Now everybody will get to learn that Tim had a full on separate apartment over there on his ag estate. I'd be surprised he's doing this except that he's counting on Al to settle. Discovery will be fun. If you're not Tim!
First and foremost, to those who criticize Mr. Bynum, Ms. Wilson, and everyone else that has filed a complaint against the Prosecutor, if you have never experienced being a party in any type of case in court, or have never experienced discrimination, you should not be criticizing these people for doing what you yourself would probably never have the balls to do - STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS. This system is so broken, that is why the people of Kaua`i need a new Prosecutor. How embarrassing is it to see our current Prosecutor on tv ranting a raving like a crazy person out of control? This is who you want to represent the people of Kaua`i? How embarrassing is it to see her get trashed at bar and act like an immature drunk? She has no dignity, no integrity, no respect. For those of you "locals" that want to vote for her just because she is local, YOU are part of the problem too. Yes, I am a local born and raised, and I am smart enough to know to vote for the person that truly cares about the people of Kaua`i. I am a local, and I support the haole Justin Kollar. Why support the local (Shay) that doesn't give a rip about the locals in the first place? VOTE JUSTIN KOLLAR!!!
Right on point.
first and foremost, Shay is an excellent prosecutor with a great record. Kollar has a mere 18 months and one judge was annoyed that he was too generous making deals with criminals. Shay is highly respected in law enforcement circles. She holds positions of leadership in a number of professional organizations. The only place she is seriously disrespected is in this blog.
Second, remember how Ian Costa lost his position as Planning Director because he refused to buy off on the mayor's and Al Castillo's bullshit that Bynum's room full of kitchen gear wasn't really a kitchen under CZO. He was replaced by little yes-man Mike Dahilig who will do what the mayor and county attorney tell him to do, or he knows what will happen to him.
Castillo wants to cut the balls off the OPA in the same way they cut the balls off Planning. He wants his yes boy Kollar installed as prosecutor because he hates how Shay doesn't play ball with him and the mayor. Imagine a county with all the departments headed by little Mike Dahiligs and Justine Kollars. It's Al's wet dream.
Shay is 10 times smarter that Castillo. And she has ten times the integrity of any of those good ol boys. Tim is a worm who got caught breaking the law and used his position first to try to intimidate and bully the planning department, and now to try to act like he's being picked on for political payback.
The county attorney has a terrible relationship with the police under Kollar and Castillo. Shay has the support of law enforcement.
The testimony will be interesting. Tim, Shay, Sheila, Kaipo, Ian, pretty much everyone in Joan's blog over the past few months.
Cannot wait to see Tim wither under cross examination. Hope he paid taxes on all that rent he collected!
Tim, Shay, Jake and Sheila. Can you imagine Sheila answering questions about what she said to Jake? "that's not me. I deny saying I'll deny it."
"Shay is highly respected in law enforcement circles." LOL!!!
"And she has ten times the integrity of any of those good ol boys." Ha! She is one of the good ole boys - with no integrity!
Post a Comment