Friday, May 9, 2014

Musings: Dreck from the Depos, Part III

During a recent meeting, when the County Council was preparing to vote on a settlement of Councilman Tim Bynum's lawsuit against Kauai County, former Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri and planning supervisor Sheilah Miyake, Councilman Ross Kagawa made a startling announcement: He was planning to file an ethics complaint against Councilman Mason Chock.

Ross felt it was a conflict for Mason to vote on the settlement after Tim had voted to appoint Mason to the Council in that dirty, screwy process to secure a vote to override the mayor's veto of Bill 2491. The seed companies are now challenging the appointment process in their lawsuit to invalidate the bill.

But in reading the deposition of deputy prosecutor Gary Nelson, it seems there was another potential conflict in the case. In this excerpt, attorney Dan Hempey is asking Gary about Tim's zoning violation, which was sent to the Office of Prosecuting Attorney for criminal prosecution. Tim was charged with two misdemeanor zoning violations, which were later dismissed.

Q. How was [Councilman] Mel Rapozo involved?

A. When I got the box that had all of the cases, there was a spreadsheet that had been done by Mel Rapozo, and it had just kind of a listing of all of the -- all of the cases. It was just like the names of all of the people, and then their TMK numbers, and then the current status, whether or not they were moving towards compliance or whether it was going to be resolved within the planning department.  It was color coded, and there were some that were coded for prosecution like there was no resolution.  It's time to prosecute. So he had done some sort of summary.

Q. Okay. And do you remember if Bynum's was coded for prosecution?

A. Yes.

Q. Was it?

A. It was.

Q. Okay. And do you understand from an employment or contractual perspective, how Mel Rapozo would have put this -- why Mel Rapozo would have put this spreadsheet together and provided it to you?

A. My understanding was that he was an investigator with the office of the prosecuting attorney at some point. While he was an inspector, he did have the files.

Q. Okay. So before you got there, your understanding he was an investigator for the prosecutor's office?

A. Yeah.

Mel's company, M&P Legal Support Services LLC, was paid $43,026.20 to serve subpoenas for the Office of Prosecuting Attorney between July 2009 and May 2012, according to a review of public records.

In looking back at that post, I also noticed that Council watchers Glenn Mickens and Ken Taylor — both staunch Shay supporters — had filed a Board of Ethics complaint against County Attorney Al Castillo, claiming he'd helped Prosecutor Justin Kollar (his former deputy) to get elected and had tried to derail Gary Nelson's career.

Not that it went anywhere, because it was motivated by revenge.

Sigh. As is the nature of dirty laundry, just when you think you have it all washed, more is tossed in the hamper. But at least we can hang it on the line to air dry. Unless you live in Princeville, where laundry — clean or dirty — must remain hidden safely indoors.


Anonymous said...

What's the conflict? He was screwing both sides.

Anonymous said...

Mel worked for OPA and then voted on the OPA case? After all Shaylene's antics, Mel Had a role in deciding to prosecute Bynam? But Mel was voting on that case also. How's that allowed?

Anonymous said...

Mel is elected by the people. Mason was hand picked by Bynum Hooser and Joanne. Big, Big, Difference People.

Anonymous said...

Pure Kukai… not so cut and dry. Note worthy and similiar antics in plenty more dealings.
best tactic> to showcase the transcripts and let them blemish for themselves. no need scathing embellishments sometimes. Get em Joan…

Anonymous said...

Your statement "it seems there was another potential conflict in the case".

It seems it's just your potential opinion so it seems everything otherwise is okay. Plus Ross is entitled to an opinion, and should act accordingly. Just remember nobody's potential opinion is above the law.

Anonymous said...

In real time Mel had asked for clearance to work for the prosecutor and be on the council, he was cleared , there was no conflict.

Anonymous said...

As the world turns....Ross opening the Pandora Box. All the backroom manoeuvring coming to light. It is what it smelled like all along.

Anonymous said...

when opinions are subject to law you will know the thought police have arrived

Anonymous said...

When some use their opinion as though they are judge and jury that's when the thought police will arrive.

Anonymous said...

"Mel worked for OPA and then voted on the OPA case? After all Shaylene's antics, Mel Had a role in deciding to prosecute Bynam? But Mel was voting on that case also. How's that allowed?".....

On Kauai you just do it, nobody holds you accountable or if someone does try, like Bynum: shoot the messenger.

Anonymous said...

All this angst over who knows who. Folks the number of people who care enough about the management of the island to actually -do- something (other then post conspiracy comments) is extremely small.

I find it "interesting" that has been inaccessible for the last week since John Patt's LTE about birth and cancer studies done by the DOH. Probably just a coincidence.

Joan Conrow said...

Odd. I accessed the site on both Thursday and Friday with no problem.

Anonymous said...

Why worry about a prosecutor targeting a political enemy? Aside from the scary Mao or Mccarthyist tactic that we freedom loving types loathe, she cost us a lot of money.