His boss, planning supervisor Sheila Miyake, looked, too, and saw a refrigerator: “That, to me, is an installed appliance.” Patrick pressed his camera up to the glass and took pictures of the room. Then, spotting a broken window, “I tried to peek through that thing.”
The two county workers were describing their unannounced “exterior inspection” after receiving an “anonymous” complaint that Tim had converted his Wailua Homesteads house into a multi-family dwelling. Their words were caught on tape by First Deputy Prosecutor Jake Delaplane, who was secretly recording their Nov. 30, 2010 conversation.
The two-hour recording — evidence improperly withheld from Tim's defense attorney — was later turned over to Special Attorney General Richard Minatoya, who conducted an independent investigation after Judge Watanabe removed the county prosecutor's office from the case. In May, Minatoya dismissed the misdemeanor charges against Tim and gave the tape to his attorney.
County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho released the tape yesterday, falsely claiming it “surfaced last week” when Tim sued her, Sheila and the county. Shay also issued a press release claiming the tape showed county attorneys had barred planning inspectors from taking actions against Tim so as to “influence Bynum's vote on Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr's. TVR [transient vacation rental] bill.”
The tape fails to support that allegation because, in fact, no special treatment was needed to gain Tim's vote on the bill, which he introduced and championed.
The tape also fails to help Sheila achieve her stated goal: “I want to be lily white. I want people to say, 'there she goes, Miss Perfect.'”
But it does raise questions about the role of former Council Chair Kaipo Asing, who is bitter enemies with Tim. The tape ends with Sheila endorsing efforts to prosecute Tim, saying, “And poor Kaipo needs justice on this, I think.”
The tape also offers a disturbing look into the planning department under the reign of Director Ian Costa and Deputy Director Imai Aiu, both of whom were due to be replaced the next day by Deputy County Attorney Mike Dahilig and former Planning Director Dee Crowell, respectively.
Sheila describes a planning department where “there's no policies. There's no directives. I make my own directives.” She also bemoans the arrival of “two new bosses tomorrow,” saying, “I only can do, I only have until tomorrow, 12 noon. That's all you have of me. That's all the powers I have. And after 12:01 I lost all powers. The diva is gone.” Near the end of the tape, Sheila characterizes the TVR inspectors as “lazy” and at several points, she talks stink about Dee.
The recording, which begins like a cheesy detective film with the rustle of Jake's pants as walks, already wired, to his meeting with Sheila and Patrick, lays out the dispute between county attorneys and planners over the case.
Sheila repeatedly asserts that she and Patrick had the right to walk around Tim's house, look in his windows and take photographs — Patrick says they “called out,” but didn't knock upon arriving at the residence — because Tim had gotten a use permit to build an addition onto his house. But Sheila also tells Jake “the issue of trespassing came up” — a concern raised by Imai and county attorneys.
Sheila then goes on to describe how county attorneys told her that a rice cooker and refrigerator did not meet the definition of a kitchen under the county zoning ordinance. “They look at it differently and to today it's hard to change our mind...because our director Ian believes in that code that preparation of food is a rice cooker. The planning attorney Ian does not believe that.”
“And neither does Mike,” Jake says, to which Sheila replies, “right.”
Jake repeatedly asks Sheila and Patrick whether county attorneys ever said, “Let's just make it go away.” Sheila replies, “No, not make it go away. They know they can't ask that from me.” Jake then asks whether they were directed to deviate at all from standard procedure, to which Sheila replies she was questioned about why they served Tim with the zoning violation notice at the Council Chambers. She defended her actions, saying, “That's his normal place of employment.”
Sheila and Patrick also say that Tim refused to allow an inspection, claiming he'd done nothing wrong, and instead met with Imai.
As Jake presses for details on whether Sheila believes politics played any part, Sheila claims that Mike “made a comment that stays here and I'm gonna forget it if you ever ask me again. It had to do with politics and that's why Imai had to take it over. I'm never on the stand gonna say that because he is gonna be my boss, and he would never say that on Shaylene, too, yeah, you understand... because our lives...” At that point, Jake, Shay and Patrick all start laughing.
Sheila then chides Patrick for relying on his memory of conversations with Bynum, rather than taking notes. “I should just tape his conversation, illegally,” Patrick says. “And then write it all down,” Sheila adds. Jake, who is secretly taping them, laughs.
Sheila also repeats a conversation with Ian Costa, in which he reportedly says, “I don't care. I'm going to send it to [unintelligble] because Kaipo Asing was asking. Kaipo Asing needs to know. And I gotta answer at that time to the Council Chair. That's what happened.”
“Was it something the Council was asking about?” Jake asks.
“Only Kaipo Asing, as a private citizen,” she replies.
At about the 1:43:00 mark on the tape, Jake begins pressing Sheila for more details — “Was there anything going on, besides the election, that ...coincided with some of the timing of this stuff? Not just general political stuff, but was there something specific going on at that time?”
“It's political,” she replies. “Everything is political.”
“But was there anything with planning going on, any votes?” Jake asks.
“Yes, I said it's political. Yes, yes.”
“So you think that directly influenced...”
“Yes," she says. "I’m never going to say it (unintelligible) because it will be my demise. Not yours, because you weren't there. It will be my demise. Do you need to know about all that?”
Sheila then sends Patrick out of the room and tells Jake, “When Imai took it over, there had to be a delay. … Dahilig said hold it up until after the vote. We need his vote for the TVR. I said, oh, you mean, the TVRs you guys screwed up on? No problem. You saw what happened. My bosses got fired because my new bosses screwed up. This is all off the record. They kind of catered to him because it was their screw up on the TVR.”
At the end, as Sheila and Jake are chatting, she brings up Patrick's assertion that Tim had said, “let make it go away.” (Actually, Patrick had said he heard Tim tell Imai, “let's settle this.”)
“Make it go away. Those are terrible words,” she says. “They can be misconstrued, but that man will never forget those words.”