A TALE OF TWO DOG POUNDS: This weekend’s installment of KPD Blue- “Chapter 10- George Freitas”- beings the long and winding chronology of three police chiefs and, according to Sommer’s narrative the process by which the old boy network, through persistence, secrecy and race-based cronyism finally got their man into office in the person of current Chief Darryl Perry who was “supposed to” get the job when Freitas- an outsider- was forced out.
The book tells the story of how Freitas was replaced by KC Lum- also a mainland outsider, although a KPD lieutenant- who, in a series of machination involving the county council, the police commission and the ethics board, was drummed out on trumped up charges along with the head of the police commission Michael Ching.
Yet unless you’ve read the book you’d never know how, through suppression of documents and illegal secret meetings- and a complicitous press that refused to look at the real documentation- Perry was finally hired as Chief.
Sommer’s documented tale stands as the true story of what happened, as anyone of the “nitpickers” who attended the sessions and saw all the documents leading to Lum’s ouster can attest to.
At one point the council didn’t want to see the real documents from an administrative judge’s determination in the Ching case so much that when nitpicker Richard Stauber tried to give the documents he had obtained to the council to make them part of the record, Chair Kaipo Asing actually demand Stauber take them back. When Stauber refused Asing then purged them from the public record.
The complete set of documents show how the ethics board cherry picked the judges determinations in order to find that Ching exhibited undue favoritism in the commission’s selection of Lum as chief
But Perry’s supporters still cling to the “official” story that somehow he was the one who wronged in the whole process.
Despite the availability of KPD Blue- which can be purchased through Amazon.com and will soon be available at Border’s book store in Lihu`e (watch this space for an announcement when it’s “in”)- this little tidbit appeared in the local newspaper under the regular “Ask the Chief” banner.
Here’s what the Chief had to say in answer to a supposed unsolicited question, presumably from a member of the public unconnected with the force
Q: It’s been almost a year now that you’ve been in office. How have things been going? Was the transition difficult getting back in the groove? And how do you like being back home?
It was obvious to me that you got the raw end of the deal the first time around. Has anyone apologized to you for what the old police commission did?
Apologized? Although there is no evidence that Perry personally had anything to do with the corrupt ouster of Lum, he certainly did nothing to stop it, even as his brother Warren aced as a surrogate in support of Leon Gonsalves during the infamous ”Hop Sing” incident.
Here’s what Perry had to say last Saturday:
KPD long on goals during chief’s first year
A: Things are going as well as can be expected. The first part of your question is easy, the other question touches on very sensitive areas that some individuals would like to forget.
But history is a great teacher, and if we don’t learn from our past, then we will probably repeat it. So I’ll touch a little on the second part but not too much....
After detailing some of his plans for the department, with apparent false modesty Perry passive-aggressively “answered” the second part if “Jason’s” question".
In regards to the second part of your question, concerning the prior selection process and me getting the raw end of deal, I really haven’t given it much thought since being appointed. It appears from individuals who I’ve spoken to on a personal basis that they felt something wasn’t right with the first selection process and that I was not treated fairly.
And the other part of your question: Has anyone apologized to me? No one representing the county of Kaua`i has ever stated publicly or given my family a written apology.
Although I invested a great deal of time, effort and expense in preparing and interviewing for the position, I’m really not sure if I deserve any apology.
When someone applies for a position there is an understanding that he or she may not get selected. So you work hard to prepare, do the best you can, and hope that the process is fair. You can only control what you do; you can’t control what others may do.
Whether the process was tainted is a matter of debate. For my family it’s something we don’t dwell on. We are moving forward toward a brighter future; besides, it’s great to be home, so I don’t have any complaints.
In closing, and it’s only my opinion, if any apology should be had, it should be made to the citizens of the county of Kaua`i and the Kaua`i Police Department, not to me. I’ll leave it at that.
Why the Chief felt the need to re-open and rub salt in the wounds is anyone's guess- perhaps it’s a preemptive strike against the contests of Sommer’s book.
But Sommer and those who are in the know won’t be “leaving it at that” because, if the Chief isn’t sure of he got a raw deal other are sure- and have the documentation to show- that the Lum and Ching got the short end of the stick.
And we predict anyone who reads the facts in KPD Blue won’t leave it at that either..
Sommer’s book follows the story through document and eyewitness accounts. We’ll leave you with a paragraph from the narrative just after Freitas walked away with a generous severance package after agreeing not to lead the parade to court that followed.
Perry was the candidate of the KPD old guard. Lum never was accused of any misconduct in office. Try as they might, Baptiste and the County Council could find nothing to use against him at the Police Commission. But he was forced—by Mayor Baptiste and the County Council (not the Police Commission, the only entity with the legal authority to fire a police chief on Kauai)—to retire on June 7, 2006, with more than three years remaining on his contract.