After hearing rumors for years that the FBI was investigating the Kauai Police Department, the federal agency yesterday did actually arrest a former vice squad lieutenant on theft, money laundering and embezzlement charges.
Lt. Karen Kapua, who was fired from KPD last December, was charged with stealing $75,000 in federal grant money intended for undercover drug buys, and laundering part of the dough to pay off personal debts.
You have to wonder what the hell she was thinking. According to Hawaii News Now, which broke the story:
Law enforcement experts say the theft of money used for evidence is usually easy to detect. "Whenever there's an expenditure, there has to be a voucher for that expenditure and given two officers or agents sign for that money," [Hawaii News Now law enforcement expert Tommy] Aiu said.
As the Kauai Humane Society pinches pennies to keep its doors open, and struggles with a never-ending wave of unwanted dogs and cats facing near certain euthanasia, the Kauai County Council has adopted a barking dog law that places an additional burden on the beleaguered agency.
KHS Director Penny Cistaro estimates she will need to hire additional staff and buy a vehicle to enforce the law, which amounts to an annual cost of at leat $18,000 and a one-time cost of $20,000 and $36,000. This, at a time when the agency is struggling to reduce the unwanted pet population through spay-neuter and education programs that should have first priority.
And really, does the county want to start spending its precious resources to sort out squabbles between neighbors? As a friend noted, this is the sort of law that represents the changing population on Kauai — people with little tolerance, and less ability to work things out amongst themselves.
What's more, the Council adopted this crummy law with no clear idea of where the money will come from. What the hell were they thinking? Let's hope Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. has the sense to veto this bad bill.
Of course, this isn't the first time the Council has adopted a law with enforcement problems. Case in point: transient vacation rentals.
Though the county can impose a $10,000 per day fine on people who are illegally running such operations, and pursue criminal charges, it hasn't done so aggressively or consistently. Right now, there's no financial incentive to shut down.
Why isn't the county slapping serious fines on illegal TVR operators, especially those who reopen after being closed down? The money could fund more enforcement efforts and it would end what planning director Mike Dahilig describes as a cat and mouse game.
This powerful tool is available to the county, but it's not using it. What the hell are they thinking?
It really makes you wonder if the county is indeed serious about addressing this ongoing problem period, much less in an effective manner.
And finally, after years of claiming that Navy sonar and radar is killing the reefs, Terry Lilley is seeking money to actually try and prove his allegations. Oh, and take down the farms, too.
Donate $100,000 to Terry and his crazy theories? What the hell was he thinking?