ALL POWER TO THE POODLES: KPD Blue is not just a book- it’s the true story of the abuse of power that led to the removal of Chief George Frietas and culminated in the “retirement” of Chief KC Lum.
Whatever people think about Anthony Sommer’s characterizations of the blatant widespread. illegal race bias in Kaua`i government, the events and facts behind them are irrefutably documented.
But of course the book ends when Sommer retired with a golden parachute after his articles went unappreciated at either of the county buildings.
Glenn Mickens was there too and knows the real story including the one the press refused to publish at the time- that fact that Police Commission Chair Mike Ching was actually found to be innocent of any wrong doing according to the administrative judge in the matter.
But that was never made public because the Kaua`i Ethics Board refused to release the document containing the judge’s actual detailed ruling- which essentially exonerated Ching-. and released only their approved excerpted documents instead.
The secret “executive” document was obtained by “nitpicker” Richard Stauber through what he described to the council as a magical event- it flew in his window in the middle of a lightning storm- and he submitted it as written testimony to the council.
Richard then sat and read the pertinent parts of the judge’s words and in one of the most bizarre episodes in the annals council secrecy and corruption, the council refused to receive the document from a member of the public.
As a matter of fact they tried to physically give it back to him- and Richard refused to physically take it back.
And because of that the local newspaper only reported on the “official documents” from the Ethics Board..
Sitting there watching all this happen was the council watchdog supreme, charter “Nitpicker” Glenn Mickens.
Mickens knows all the other particulars and now has detailed the railroading of KC Lim by what he calls “the power”.
In today’s guest post (below) Mickens gives his thoughts on and attests to what we who watched it all happen and know to be the true story of the various witch hunts that occurred of a couple of years back with Lum and almost a decade ago with Frietas..
The only problem is that Glenn doesn’t name names.
So here’s a puzzle- we’ll list most of the names of those “powers” and you can fill in the blanks... or you can make it a drinking game.
Shaylene Iseri Carvalho
Wally Rezentes Sr.
Wally Rezentes Jr.
The members of :
The Kaua`i Ethics Commission’
Grove Farm Inc
The Hawai`i Visitor’s Bureau
The Pacific Missile Range Facility
or anyone appropriate from the index of KPD Blue
Winners get a one year pass to the county council meetings and probationary membership in the nitpickers to be redeemed after challenging 12 different agenda items
By Glenn Mickens
In my opinion there was a total and methodical conspiracy to remove KC Lum from his position as Chief of Police.
Tony Sommer wrote an outstanding in depth story (KPD Blues) about this conspiracy and other corruption that goes on not only in our police department but in our total government.
I will more simplistically give my take on this conspiracy and confine my views to just the main lies that removed this learned, dedicated man from office. For lack of a better word for those responsible for this conspiracy I will just use the term "Power" and let the readers point the finger at whoever they feel is most guilty.
First there was the police commission connection. This 5 member commission is empowered by our charter to select a Chief. 4 of these 5 commissioners in their unbiased evaluation process chose KC Lum to be the Chief. The two of three finalists for the job were Daryl Perry and KC Lum and except for one member of the commission who voted for Perry (he was accused of racial bias towards Lum) the selection would have been unanimous.
However, the "power" certainly couldn't have a Chief operating the department who couldn't be manipulated and might break up the widespread drug problems on Kauai.
So "they" began their effort to prove that Lum was illegally placed in office. First "they" went after Mike Ching, an outstanding voluntary commissioner for 3 years, and got him to resign. His "major" fault was that he used his 1st amendment right to support Lum as chief and by asking others to support this outstanding candidate! Wow, what a crime!!
Then the "power" went after another commissioner, Carol Furtado who also picked Lum over Perry even though she grew up with Perry and felt that Lum was the better qualified! Ms Furtado chose to be her own defense at a public contested case (administrative trial) hearing AND was completely exonerated of any wrong doing---a blow to the "power"!
Next the "power" went after the officer that Lum had picked as his Deputy Chief, Ron Vennaman. Ron's "mistake" was also believing that Lum was the best qualified for the Chiefs' position and soliciting signatures from other officers in a support letter for his appointment---as with Ching his 1st amendment right. And, a check of Vennaman’s qualification to be Deputy Chief or to support his evaluation of Lum, one only has to look at his biographical data sheet. It reads like a who's who of highly experienced police officers in the nation!! So, in the process of appointing a new acting chief when Lum "retired" the protocol shows that Vennaman should fill that position.
But our Mayor had made sure that the police commission now had members that followed his wishes---Ching and the other two members who voted for Lum were now gone. So Vennaman was "overlooked" and put back as a patrolman---a huge injustice to probably the best qualified officer in Hawaii.
Now, a new twist to this conspiracy theory enters the picture. The "power" had to prove that Lum was illegally hired to his position so they tried to make the case that Ching and Furtado had acted in a prejudicial manner by voting for Lum over Perry. But where they miserably failed to make their case was that even without Ching's vote there were still 3 others who voted for Lum making his selection legitimate.
And the "power" tried to make it legal for the finance director to take away Lum's contract (due to their bogus effort to prove that Lum was illegally hired) but failed again as only the police commission has that authority.
The "powers" next move in their conspiracy effort was to show that Lum had flagrantly exceeded his 04-05 budget by $330 thousand. However an examination of the 04-05 County of Kauai Financial Audit will clearly show that the police budget for that period had a surplus of over $8000! There was some double talk and song and dance from the "power" saying that money was taken from "another" account to cover this huge overage BUT there is no record of the Council authorizing such a transaction and by law, the Council must approve the intra-department transfer of funds. Also, there is no record on the audit books showing this sum of money being moved from one account to the other so what we have is yet another lie!!!
And finally there is the "forgery" episode---our total government trying to prove that our chief---who taught classes in forged documents---had tried to falsify one of the 3 pages of his employment contract cancellation document sent to him from the County via Lum’s attorney.
The incident was simply an error by Lum's attorney's fax machine and was quickly admitted to by his attorney. BUT the "power now in their desperation mode to find some fault with Lum to prove his incompetence sent this forgery theory to the State Attorney General.
Here the plot even thickens more. The investigator who took this forgery evidence to the AG, LEFT OUT Lum's attorney's admittance of the fax error and the AG investigators proceeded to enter Lum's house with a warrant obtained by excluding the admission of the document transmission mistake by Lum’s attorney. The responsible AG investigator took Lum’s computer hard drives in an attempt to prove the forgery theory. Once the AG found out the truth about this botched scheme, the case was dropped like a hot potato! The question still remains as to why the investigator left out the most relevant part of the forgery theory---the part that would have kept the AG from embarrassing their office and a potential huge law suit against them.
In a brief summary as there is so much more---read KPD Blues. The "power" tried to make their case to fire Lum on 3 huge lies---he was illegally hired to be Chief; he overspent his budget by $330,000; and he forged his employment contract cancellation papers.
Due to the cancellation of Lum’s employment contract, Lum chose to retire from police service to avoid loosing his pension and retirement benefits. The legality of the contract voidability is still in dispute in Lum’s lawsuit against the County.
It would appear that this "conspiracy" has worked as Lum is no longer our Chief. But every dog has his day in the sun and, in my opinion, this dedicated man will prevail in a higher court and his reward will cost this county dearly for what they have done to him. Or, to put it more clearly, the fat lady has not sung so the game is not over!!!