Thursday, February 24, 2011


EVERYBODY’S LAUGHING, EVERYBODY’S HAPPY: County Attorney (CA) Al “The Nebbish” Castillo surprised a select few with his apparent agreement with the ACLU- Hawai`i opinion about illegality of the Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho/KPD/anti-drug office-sponsored, anti-marijuana rally last week.

Others suspect though that perhaps his opinion had less to do with the issue at hand than it did with the long standing feud between Castillo and Iseri ever since both took office over two years ago. The infamous game of musical chairs at the time has left the county with a bunch of ex-prosecutors in the CA’s office and vice versa which may be why Castillo took the opportunity to stick it to Iseri.

But at the same council meeting where Iseri and Councilmember Mel Rapozo held their “Reefer Madness” cotillion, Castillo was busy doing his best Louis Quarorze impression, once again interrupting the council to remind them who, in reality, L'Etat c'est.

The issue at hand was a complicated one that has been doggedly pursued by activist Horace Stoessel even since January’s inaugural meeting fiasco over the evaluations of appointed officials, including the county clerk.

Stoessel has become a resource extraordinaire on the subject for the council, having sat on the Salary Commission and after spending years to emerge as an expert on the subject- as well as others- as it relates to the county charter.

So after Stoessel’s “three minutes times two” were up the council had many questions and was trying to ascertain his opinion on who should be responsible for writing into law the process for evaluations.

It’s all very esoteric but suffice it to say that it had gone on for quite a while when, like a petulant child piping up during a “grown-up conversation” Castillo couldn’t take it any more.

His first interruption was, as if they needed it, to “direct” the council to “stop”, saying Stoessel was well past his three minutes and was- gasp - actually engaging with them during deliberations- something former Chair Kaipo Asing invented and then promptly banned in order to take the public out of the public participatory process.

He was pretty much ignored and the council was finally getting to the nitty gritty of whether the council actually had the authority to dictate a system for evaluating administration appointees when Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura asked if she had properly understood Stoessel’s “legal conclusion” on a fine point.

That was just too much for Castillo who loudly protested that a “legal conclusion by anyone but the county attorney is irrelevant” and that it was “really improper” for Stoessel to reflect back on his time with the salary commission.

As Castillo spoke, the camera showed a clearly agitated Yukimura, rolling her eyes and shaking her head in disbelief. Then Council Chair Jay Furfaro tried to calm things reminding Castillo that he, Furfaro, was the chair and was “acting like any good manager,” likening it to seeking input from a valued employee whose knowledge and experience was essential to the conversation.

That brought back some decorum and discussion continued with a clearly agitated Castillo keeping his peace. But when it became apparent that the council was going to take Stoessel’s testimony to heart, the Sun King couldn’t control himself any more screeching out “I am the County Attorney” and then blathering on about how he should be consulted and boo-hoo-hoo and blah-blah-blah.

So tune in again next week folks for the comedic stylings of Iseri and Castillo and their ensemble of rotating attorneys. You can’t go wrong and well, the price is right... if you ignore the fact that your taxes paying for it.

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