I'm not sure which is best: a bouncing welcome home from my two dogs, sleeping on clean sheets in my own bed or watching the web of lies and distortion spun by Kauai Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho and her supporters continue to unravel.
Yup, we've got another report of racial harassment, and this time it's coming straight from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The agency issued a press release this morning that states “Kauai County will pay $120,000 to settle a federal charge of race harassment.”
The charge was filed in 2010 by Shannon M. Weigel, a white woman who was formerly employed as a deputy prosecuting attorney in the Office of Prosecuting Attorney (OPA). According to the EEOC release, Shannon “alleged that she was harassed due to her race by a top-level manager. The manager allegedly made continually disparaging comments to the former attorney, saying that she needed to assimilate more into the local culture and break up with her boyfriend at the time, also white, in favor of a local boy.”
The “top-level manager” was Shay herself, who allegedly told Shannon that she was never going to get ahead here on Kauai so long as she had a haole boyfriend. And the way it works is that when top managers behave badly, the county — as in the taxpayers — pay the price. So far, as I've previously reported, the county has paid out $223,000 in EEOC claims against Shay and the OPA.
The press release goes on to state (emphasis added):
The EEOC ultimately found reasonable cause to believe that the county violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for the harassment to which the former attorney was subjected. Following the determination, the County of Kauai entered into an over two-year conciliation agreement with the EEOC and the alleged victim. The agreement effectively settles the case administratively, thereby avoiding potential litigation. Aside from the monetary relief, the county agreed to establish policies and complaint procedures dealing with discrimination and harassment in the workplace and to provide live EEO training to all managers and supervisors. The county further agreed to post notices on the matter on all bulletin boards throughout the county and to permit the disclosure of the settlement.
"The workplace is no place for derogatory remarks pertaining to race or any other protected basis, and it is important for an employer to take immediate corrective action when faced with illegal harassment," said Timothy Riera, director of the EEOC's Honolulu Local Office. "We commend the County of Kauai for expeditiously resolving this matter and agreeing to measures which will prevent and deal with both harassment and discrimination on the job."
So how is the Shay team — especially her taxpayer-funded junior deputy blogger — gonna spin this one? They, and he, can't dismiss it, like they did Erin Wilson's settlement, by claiming no reasonable cause of discrimination was found. Because in this case, the EEOC actually did do an investigation and did find reasonable cause.
Surely they can't claim, at least, not with any credibility, that the EEOC is also in on a conspiracy to settle these cases to discredit Shay right before the election.
And Shay and her top deputy, Jake Delaplane, can't possibly continue to play dumb and pretend that they knew nothing about any of this until Justin Kollar revealed it during the recent prosecutorial debate. I mean, the county was in discussion on Shannon's case for over two years, and Jake himself attended the Honolulu mediation sessions in Erin's case.
Actually, what Shay and Jake have contended is they didn't know the dollar amount of the settlements. So what? They still knew that the office they manage had received four EEOC complaints. And that's significant, when you consider that all the other county departments combined got just two such complaints in the same four-year period.
At any rate, I'll have more details on this case in tomorrow's post. And I sure hope The Garden Island, which has just a tiny wire service report on this today, digs a little deeper and doesn't sweep it under the rug or let Jake lie and spin, like it did with the Erin Wilson story.
Speaking of lying and spinning, I wonder how Shay is doing on that “full and fair investigation” she promised during the debate into the $1 million supposedly missing from the county, now that even her two supporters on the Council approved a bill settling up the accounting discrepancy.