The political season opened not with a bang on Kauai, but a dredge — as in dredging up some old gunk to smear on Mayor Bernard Carvalho.
The accusations are being levied by Ken Taylor, Glenn Mickens and Michael Sheehan — via his lawyer, Richard Wilson, who is also the attorney for defeated prosecutor and rumored County Council candidate Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, whose ardent supporters include Ken and Glenn.
They contend that Bernard refused to answer questions during the county auditor's 2010-12 investigation into the use of a county gas card and thus must immediately step down. Meanwhile, Auditor Ernie Pasion, another Shay ally, is suing the county, claiming retaliation for that inquiry.
Got those dots connected?
As Wilson wrote in a Feb. 1 letter to Bernard [Wilson's emphasis added]:
More specifically, you refused on the advice of counsel to answer questions in connection with an investigation undertaken by the County Auditor regarding the Fuel Audit (“gas card scandal”). Pursuant to Haw.Rev.Stat. §78-9, you are no longer the Mayor of Kauai.
Haw.Rev.Stat. §78-9 states as follows:
If any person subject to sections 78-8 to 78-11, after lawful notice or process, wilfully [sic] refuses or fails to appear before any court or judge, any legislative committee, or any officer, board, or commission, or having appeared refuses to testify or to answer any question regarding (1) the government, property or affairs of the State or of any political subdivision thereof, or (2) the person's qualifications for public office or employment, or (3) the qualifications of any officer or employee of the State or any political subdivision thereof, on the ground that the person’s answer would tend to incriminate the person, or refuses to testify or to answer any such question without right, the person’s term or tenure of office or employment shall terminate and the office or employment shall be vacant, and the person shall not be eligible to election or appointment to any office or employment under the State or any political subdivision thereof.
The persons subject to sections 78-8 to 78-11 are those elected to or appointed or employed in the government of the State or any county, or in any political subdivision thereof, or appointed to or employed in any office or employment any part of the compensation of which is paid out of public funds.
Bernard's attorney, Eric Seitz, issued a press release on Saturday dismissing the claims as “politically motivated. These allegations are without merit, and an examination of the facts will show the Mayor has done nothing wrong.”
On Jan. 29, County Attorney Al Castillo wrote to Ken and Glenn that Section 78-9 “is arguably not applicable to the situation in question and may be unconstitutional.” County insiders told me that Bernard's attorneys determined the auditor's investigation wasn't a proceeding covered by the statute.
When I first heard about this, I immediately flashed back to when Shay refused to answer routine questions posed by the County Council and demanded special counsel to protect her from self-incrimination. How come Ken, Glenn and Mike never demanded her immediate removal?
Wilson finishes up his letter in an almost ridiculously threatening tone:
Your tenure as Mayor has ended.
Mr. Sheehan’s sole question is how do you intend to proceed? You can acknowledge that you are no longer the Mayor of Kauai pursuant to §78-9, and so advise the Council. That would be Mr. Sheehan’s preferred avenue. At least you would be able to control the news release and leave 4444 Rice Street on your own terms. The alternative is for Mr. Sheehan to obtain the relevant transcript, provide it to the Attorney General and then demand your removal in compliance with §78-10. If you choose the latter, you will have no control over the situation and it will be a media circus. Mr. Sheehan would, of course, advise the media that you refused to voluntarily leave which required him to seek your removal. The choice is yours.
Yes, let's all watch Mike spend some of the money he's due to receive from the county's contested condemnation of his Hanalei boatyard to seek Bernard's removal. No political axes being ground here.
I guess since no one has yet stepped up to challenge Bernard's reelection, they're trying another strategy: get him removed from office so there is no powerful incumbent to oppose.
I'd been hearing talk it would be an ugly campaign….
Speaking of which, there was something really shame about watching Councilman Gary Hooser lead a crowd of 300 in a chant of "shame on you" against companies that are suing us over a law he wrote. Regardless of how one feels about the bill, or the lawsuit, it seems undignified and juvenile for an elected official to act that way. It's also inane. Though corporations may be "people," they do not feel emotions. If they did, we wouldn't be in this situation.
But even sadder was seeing Gary leading this chant outside the state Capitol, a place where he was a powerful insider before he succumbed, again, to the temptations of ego and made his ill-fated 2010 run for lieutenant governor after getting his ass kicked in a 2006 Congressional bid.
Hey, maybe he'll get really ballsy and take on the governor himself this time. It doesn't appear that state Sen. David Ige is making much headway in his challenge against Neil Abercrombie for the Democratic nomination. Don't let Neil's $2.2 million war chest scare you, Gary. After all, aren't you guy who took on the multi-billion-dollar chemical companies?
I don't like:
But what I love is....this island!
Okay, let's clean house!
too much...chose amongst your favorite profiteer(sp), self interested mainlander turned local advocate after 4 years on isle, schemes to advance obscene adgenda, dancing cow dressed like council member, local born cheerleader with ties to developer and/or realty company, old missionary money satisfied to keep all kosher...
Hard to clean house... will heal over the same wound and scars tissue builds nicely apon itself
GARY IS A DISGRACE. HE IS NO KAUAI LOCAL. HE IS PURE HAOLE. GO BACK OAHU, WE DON'T NEED YOU HERE.
Kusaka then Baptiest now Carvallho what you get is Kauai 2014. Nobody to blame but yourselves .
The Fifth Amendment would stand up if challenged. You can't take rights away.
Bernard has no real challenger. Whatever his faults may be, he loves the island and the people.
Gary's strident cheer leading "shame" chant certainly puts Government leader, Council member and former State Senator into a new perspective. There ain't no dignity in that guy.
The Mayor and Council have some real challenges. 10 percent of County jobs are not filled, but the County still has them in the budget and these unpaid wages are in actuality the "positive" money in the budget. Kauai gots no dough.
The Mayor will get past Mike (I got my dough from my ex-wife, never made a dime on my own) Sheehan.
Hopefully, the reality of life and times will hit the Council so they can work on Kauai real problems. "Oh, I tot I thaw a pootty cat....puhlease, call da cop and license it."
If there is Shame, Gary, it be a lyin' on you and Tim (oh, I gotta law suit against the county, too)
Bad speller Carvalho and I forgot Thronas
Can Dick Wilson sue Shay for the salary she collected after she refused to answer questions?
Wasn't Bernard read Miranda rights prior to his questioning? If that's the case, would this still apply since HRS 78-8 to 78-11 states "refuses to testify or to answer any such question without right". I'm just wondering if I'm interpreting that correctly. Can anyone clarify?
It seems like all you people ranking on Hooser are talking from both sides of your mouth. One minute it's boo, auwe the big bad ag/chem corps. and then boo Hooser for having the balls to stand up and speak out against them. Mayors, council members, officials
all the time skip council meetings and other duties to attend to other matters. I'm no fan of politicians or politics per se but the vitriol some spew on a personal level is a joke and kind of speaks to your own agenda. Ya know Joan, I realize it is your blog and you darn well can say what you please and I enjoy it and find it informing, but what purpose does it serve when you say stuff along the lines of " what right does a chain smoking Princeville resident who rarely leaves his house have to complain about pesticides on the Westside" Just saying....
I'm so tired of people throwing the word " love " around ? How can you " love " what you abuse ?
12:51 -- I'm glad you enjoy my blog and find it informative. My purpose in making observations like the ones you have paraphrased into a single quote is to point out the irony and hypocrisy in the words and actions of our citizenry, especially those who are making unsubstantiated claims or issuing edicts for the rest of us to follow, Gary Hooser included. It all speaks to their credibility, or more importantly, lack thereof.
Yes Joan, I did paraphrase and in saying "along the lines of" was hoping to convey that, but I do remember that as a single complete statement or part thereof and will now have to go back and see if I can find it. My apologies in advance if I got it wrong, but my sentiments remain the same.
I will spare you the trouble. I referenced a chain-smoking 2491 proponent who lives by Princeville park being apparently oblivious to the poisons in her own environs, and a Kapaa blogger whose assessment of westside sentiments was likely not as acute as Dee Morikawa's, considering he hadn't been to the westside in years.
Yup, I got that wrong, my bad. Again my apologies, one reason why I'll never write a blog, too much work. Enough just trying to make a sensible comment!
No apologies needed. Thanks for reading and also for appreciating the work that does go into this blog.
"County insiders told me that Bernard's attorneys determined the auditor's investigation wasn't a proceeding covered by the statute."
So you're telling me that an insider told you that Mayor Carvallho lawyer says the didn't do anything wrong?
That's quite a scoop. What did you expect his lawyer to say, "yep, you got us." Aren't you, as a journalist, curious as to why our Mayor refused to answer the county auditor's question?
So was Mayor Carvallho stealing gas from us or not?
This was already decided no by the Judge before the last election, as you conveniently forget there is no story here whether you like or dislike Bernard.
So was Mayor Carvallho stealing gas from us or not?
I addressed that question back in November 2012:
Even if he didn't it's still wrong. Shaylene too. They both cannot talk because they have something to hide.
My the dots do connect, don't they ?
What happened to Shaylene using the county car to go bar hopping? How come that's not being investigated?
"Is there an honest politician in the house?"
Politician: "Define honest"
"After all, aren't you guy who took on the multi-billion-dollar chemical companies?"
The chemical companies are a Trillion dollar industry, with a T, Joan.
Bernard refused to answer on the ground that it might incriminate him? Move along. Nothing to see here.
I don't like:
But what I love is....this island!
Okay, let's clean house!
February 3, 2014 at 10:16 AM
There's more GOBAG's that we must get rid of. SHALL or MAY we call them Kauai's Mafia(s)/Syndicates.
February 3, 2014 at 9:16 PM,
There you go again just making stuff up. I added together the most recent yearly sales for Dow, DuPont, Syngenta, BASF plus Monsanto (boooo), Bayer and KWS and come up with USD 200 billion. With a B. You know, facts aren't that hard to come by, you just have to care about them.
Joan, you did address the question back in 2012, but your conclusion was... vague.
"I don't know, I tell them. It's my understanding that criminal intent is one of the elements required for successful prosecution. And Bernard Carvalho was reportedly doing what Bryan Baptiste, Maryanne Kusaka and possibly other mayors had done before him, which is to use a fuel card that was assigned to another county car to gas up his own vehicle."
Do you believe that "lack of intent" and "others have done it before he did" enough to give beach front property owners a pass on taking public property? Then why give the mayor a pass on this and attack the people calling him on it instead?
I haven't seen all the evidence in the Carvalho case -- and unless the auditor has shared confidential documents with Ken, Glenn and Mike, they haven't either.
If you want to draw a parallel between the mayor and coastal property owners who plant the beach, consider this: if they correct the situation, they aren't charged. It's my understanding the county has corrected the situation.
When a politician refuses to answer questions from the auditor or the council, can you trust them?
Joan wrote: "if they correct the situation, they aren't charged. It's my understanding the county has corrected the situation."
What does "my understanding" mean? Did you actually investigate it? Does that mean he paid the money back, or does it mean he just stopped using the county gas card?
If you wish to continue having a conversation with me, identify yourself. You've used up your quota of Anon questions.
Huh. Is that "quota of anonymous questions" thing a new policy? Hey, it's your blog, and if you don't want to have your claims challenged, that's fine.
You are the one who said you were calling out "those who are making unsubstantiated claims" and I was just wondering how "substantiated" your claim was that the county corrected the issue with the mayor and the county gas card.
Nope. It's a longstanding policy. Because why should I waste my valuable time digging up answers for someone who is hiding behind cover of Anonymous?
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