Friday, December 28, 2012
BIG TIME: It's not often that these year's "best of " and "worst of" lists reach down deep to select local dignitaries but you might have seen this one coming.
Coming in at #39 on eBossWatch.com's 2012 list of America’s Worst Bosses is none other than defeated and disgraced Kaua`i Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho. In bestowing the "honor," they cited deputy prosecutor Shannon Weigel's $120,000 EEOC award for racial discrimination although they failed to mention the many other infamous abuses Iseri heaped upon her employees.
eBossWatch described it this way:
Hawaii’s Kauai County has agreed to pay $120,000 to settle an EEOC racial harassment lawsuit.
Shannon Weigel, who is white, claims that she was subjected to a racially hostile work environment by the prosecuting attorney, Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho.
According to the EEOC, Iseri-Carvalho made numerous derogatory comments to Weigel on an ongoing basis. Iseri-Carvalho allegedly told Weigel that she needed to assimilate more into the local Hawaiian culture and break up with her boyfriend at the time, who is also white, in favor of a local man.
Timothy Riera, director of the EEOC’s Honolulu Office, said, “The workplace is no place for derogatory remarks pertaining to race or any other protected basis, and it is important for an employer to take immediate corrective action when faced with illegal harassment. We commend the County of Kauai for expeditiously resolving this matter and agreeing to measures which will prevent and deal with both harassment and discrimination on the job.”
According to the site, eBossWatch was founded in 2007 and "is a popular career resource that helps
people evaluate potential employers and avoid hostile workplaces."
The 2012 top 50 list:
include(s) a college dean, four restaurant owners, a fire department chief, five doctors, a judge, three county prosecuting attorneys, and a state attorney general.
To date, the 2012 America’s Worst Bosses have cost their employers over $41 million in monetary damages and lawsuit settlement payments. Of this amount, the 2012 worst bosses in the public sector have cost their respective taxpayers over $21 million.
Monday, December 24, 2012
A TALL CHRISTMAS TALE: When I was four I decided that, unlike my friends, I wasn't dumb enough to think there was really a Santa Claus and I just knew that it was my mom and dad that snuck into my sister's and my bedroom and filled our stockings (yes, we were assimilationists to the max- tree and all... after all, I'm Andrew, not Schlomo).
So I stayed up to catch them. And I know I didn't fall asleep but one time when I got up to check THEY WERE FULL. I was mind-blown for another year.
Moral: Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see. Mele Kalikimaka to the gullible. For the rest, just be happy for the full stocking and stop asking so may questions.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
ICARUS' LAMENT: Much as we're reticent to describe it as a feud- let's call it "policy dissonance"- we've butted heads with blogger/journalist/public advocate Ian Lind over the Sunshine.
As Ian wrote today in his weekly piece for Civil Beat
I’ve long been an advocate of openness in government, but I now find myself questioning whether the insistence on more and more “sunshine” really leads to the best public decisions and policies.
Well, to be accurate, Ian has been questioning it for a long time and we’ve been on the side that says that, as with democracy, the problems of too much Sunshine are best resolved with more sunshine rather than less.
Ian cites many of the same challenges that office holders have complained about for years.
Asking if we've "become too focused on process rather than policy outcomes," he lists the difficulties in discussing every little bit of minutia regarding a matter of pubic policy, well, in public.
Under " Unintended Consequences" he says:
The problem, in my view, comes when the sunshine law is interpreted as prohibiting all informal communication between officials outside of a public meeting, whether members of the county councils or of other boards and commissions
Hawaii’s law explicitly provides for private discussions between two members of a board “as long as no commitment to vote is made or sought and the two members do not constitute a quorum of their board.”
He then explains the prohibition on circumventing the sunshine law via "serial communications" and how, in trying to prohibit "back room deals," we've thrown open the door to special interest lobbyists being the ones who most influence policy rather than fellow legislators or- gasp- the public.
He says he was greatly influenced when he was about to become a staffer to the late Honolulu Councilmember Duke Bainum saying:
At some point, I asked about the internal politics of the rail debate and his sense of the perspectives and motivations of other council members.
“I don’t know,” Duke said with a shrug. “We can’t talk to each other because of the sunshine law.”
I recall being stunned by this revelation. I had assumed being a member of the city council, an insider, meant Bainum was in a perfect position to persuade his colleagues that the rail plans need more thorough scrutiny.
But how could he be effective without an understanding of where other council members were coming from? Isn’t understanding your opponents and finding levels on which to seek to communicate with them the essence of getting things done in politics? And should the process of political persuasion be restricted to things that can be said in a public meetings?
But as Ian knows, we most certainly do not agree- we've butted heads with him for years on the subject, even challenging his claim to have "long been an advocate of openness in government" while at the same time essentially calling for less, not more, sunshine.
With allies like this...
Anyway, the problem is that, as with many challenges, if you think "it's impossible" then it is. It comes down to the fact that office holders and staff need to figure out how it can be done, not cling to why it can't.
Low hanging fruit starts with meetings conducted under public agendas, especially for boards and commissions who often complain the loudest. And coming from the private sector and being volunteers make them reticent to be open to begin with. Bank presidents are not accustomed to letting shareholders in on their discussions with the rest of the board.
But for elected legislative bodies it shouldn't be a problem to meet more often. This once-a-week thing seems awfully arbitrary, while at the same time officials claim there isn't enough time to discuss things before the public.
But perhaps the easiest thing to do- or what should be the easiest- is for officials to understand the clear lines between information-gathering and deliberating toward a decision.
The law allows for appointment of information-gathering committees of less than a quorum of the body as a whole. But we've seen chairs, for example, claim that non-members of the council on these committees can't even be in the room during a meeting. Or worse, they don't even "get" the concept and have never set up such a committee.
Another example of not "getting" (or not wanting to get) the sunshine law in the first place is that it took years to convince some office holders/chairs that they are allowed to take testimony on an item not on the agenda as long as they don't discuss it right then and there, and rather put it on an agenda in six days. Some still don't get it... or won't allow it, feigning confusion.
Many unfortunately use a slippery slope interpretation of the sunshine law as an excuse to claim it's impossible to adhere to. We've constantly seen chairs narrow the scope of a posting to limit discussion so that they can either leave full discussion for a closed door attempt at circumvention of the "serial communication" rule or worse, so an item doesn’t get fully discussed at all due to political considerations.
Because, in the end, the political ramifications are the only reasons to say you can't discuss public policy in the open.
As a matter of fact, Ian has demonstrated that in his article.
The biggest sunshine law abuse is through an exemption to the open meetings law in order to discuss the "powers, duties, privileges, immunities and/or liabilities" with the board's attorney. It has become a legal loophole to discuss just about anything in "executive session" including things that are purely deemed politically sensitive.
But just thinking about trying to get the legislature to narrow the interpretation of some HRS 92 5(a)4 provisions scares the bejezus out of many Sunshine advocates, because even our supposed allies are willing to use the opportunity to broaden the exemptions to open meetings.
Yes, the Hawai`i law needs review. But people are necessarily reticent to open it up for review because they know they will face an "it can't be done so let's chuck it" attitude when we come in with our "here's how it can be done" attitude.
But, there's only one state senator who "gets it" and that's at the heart of the problem. Frankly, we're scared of an honest review to add more sunshine because we know others will use it as an excuse to make things more opaque.
They say it can't be done. But many of us are too busy trying to do it to agree.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
BORN FREE: Someone asked me yesterday why no one was even indicted when US Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer signed off on a $1.9 billion settlement with British banking giant HSBC for systematically laundering gazillions of dollars of international drug cartel money.
We'd told her we'd heard some mumbo-jumbo about how the people who worked apparently claimed they didn't see- or didn't want to see- anything out of the ordinary as they processed specially-made boxes of cash precisely the size of the opening in the tellers' windows.
Matt Taibbi goes into some depth today comparing the disparity between the punishment of the kingpins and the guy who gets jacked up and caught with a joint in his pocket (guess which one goes to jail).
But he answers the question in question by quoting the NY Times:
"Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system. "
That's right- it's because they're TOO BIG TO JAIL.
Maybe that's why, unlike some, I'm not really all that thrilled sometimes when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is president.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
HURRY UP BEFORE WE FALL FOR A FAST ONE: Are we having fun yet?
When nationally-proclaimed uber-liberal Neil Abercrombie announced he was leaving congress to run for governor and reverse the horrific wounds inflicted by Sarah Palin's pal, "What, me Republican?" Linda Lingle, many were encouraged that he would, if not be our "pal," at least put an end to the policy-by-press-conference and nose-thumbing of process that characterized her reign.
But we can't be the only ones who feel like Neil is quickly wearing out his welcome, especially after yesterday's "shame on you Sierra Club" rant for having the temerity to sue to stop him from doing administratively what he couldn't get the legislature to do.
Whether or not the state can afford to pay for the solar tax credits the legislature clearly granted- which have gone from a cost of $34.7 million in 2010 to $173.8 million in 2012- is not the stated issue in the suit, although Abercrombie apparently wishes it was.
The problem is that what the legislature giveth only the legislature- not rules passed by the state Department of Taxation (DOT) that conflict with the law- can taketh away.
So last session when the legislature failed to change the law that allows consumers to get multiple $5000 tax breaks for multiple photovoltaic "units," Abercrombie tried to pass administrative rules to do it- and is rushing passage of the DOT rules before the legislature goes into to session.
Where have we heard that before? (PLDC).
Abercrombie doesn't actually challenge this but instead is trying to not only demonize the Sierra Club but do it in a divisive way his 2010 gubernatorial opponent, Mufi Hannemann might be proud of.
According to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser article (pay-walled) today,
"The Sierra Club is saying that they want to protect people who cheat. It's astounding to me, absolutely astounding," the governor told reporters at the state Capitol. "We're trying to do something serious here. We're trying to say that we want to move to alternative and renewable energy, and we want to do it in a pono way. The fact that some people are trying to take advantage — and threaten the entire system that allows us to provide incentives for people who are doing things the right way, the correct way, the pono way.
Cheat? Serious? Pono way? There's clearly no ambiguity in the law that allows for the multiple credits. So is flouting the law okay just because it will result in your desired policy outcome?
But if that's a little sleazy, try this little bit of "haole go home"... from one haole to another.
"Now maybe the Sierra Club does that kind of thing on the mainland, but this is Hawaii. If people are cheating and gaming the system and preventing other people from taking advantage of what is legitimately there to be done... And when some people cheat and put in systems that are doubled or tripled or whatever they do in order to pretend that they need more than one system, that takes away from the capacity of honest people to do things honestly. It is an insult to the people of Hawaii to say that in order for us to get alternative energy, we have to shut our eyes to cheaters."
Gaming the system? Pretend that they need more than one system? Is he intimating that it's dishonest for honest people to take the credits the law allows to fully power their homes? Is that cheating?
No. "Cheating" is when you overestimate your political skills and fail to get the legislature to change the law so as to restrict the number of tax credits you can take... and then decide to illegally pass administrative rules that conflict with the law.
Yes- we know you're not a lawyer, Neil. But you've been a legislator long enough to know that you can't pass a rule administratively to negate a law you don't like.
As matter of fact you've blown a lot of hot air recently trying to tell us that the administration cannot reverse Act 55- the legislative measure that created the public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC)- by abolishing it through the administrative rules you're trotting out, saying only the legislature can change what they created.
We have the feeling we're not alone in being fed up with this business of having to determine which side of your mouth you're using to attack your former "pals."
Friday, December 7, 2012
EAT THEM UP, YUM: We who follow politics have, over the years, gleaned one irrefutable maxim- people are idiots who, with the right marketing, will vote for the now-proverbial turd sandwich as long as they can be convinced that the accompanying condiments are tasty and attractive.
Of course it isn't news to the advertising mavens who, through focus-grouped group-think have perfected "you must have this turd" messaging.
As many have heard, people are knocking down their grandmothers to get a cuppa "Black Ivory"- the $500 a pound, $50 cup coffee that has made it's way through the digestive track of Thai Elephants,
As an Associated Press article today says:
In the lush hills of northern Thailand, a herd of 20 elephants is excreting some of the world's most expensive coffee.
Trumpeted as earthy in flavor and smooth on the palate, the exotic new brew is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung. A gut reaction inside the elephant creates what its founder calls the coffee's unique taste.
Stomach turning or oddly alluring, this is not just one of the world's most unusual specialty coffees. At $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound), it's also among the world's priciest.
Why do we suspect that this little scam didn't just emanate from a carefully cultivated ancient tribal recipe but rather a meeting in an American board room that might have gone something like this:
Jones: Well Johnson you really screwed us, didn't you
Johnson: Whaddaya mean?
Jones: That coffee plantation in Thailand you invested in turns out to be right in the middle of the protected habitat of herd of freakin' elephants- and guess what?.. THEY LOVE TO EAT COFFEE BEANS. Our whole plantation is wiped out.
Johnson: How was I gonna know?
Jones: Well it doesn't matter now- the question is what are we gonna do about it. Anyone got any ideas?
Smith: Well, labor is cheap over there- why don't we get the natives to pick the beans out of the elephant droppings.
Williams: Yeah great- I'm sure people will drink that... not.
Smith: Well we're the experts- if we can convince people to eat the some of the crap we feed them now surely we can convince people that it's just as good as regular coffee, although we might have to charge a little less...
But "charge a little less" is blasphemy among the flimflamming ad-men and women. It this isn't the first time around the blockheads for this crowd. They know that if consumers won't buy that new-fangled one-size-fits-all wrench for $5. It's not that it's too expensive- it's that it's too cheap. People think, "Oh- if it's only five bucks it must be a cheap piece of crap." But if you raise the price to a nice round... oh, let's say $19.95 (act now and we'll throw in the steak knives), you'll sell a million.
Naturally the solution to Dumbo Drip problem follows suit.
Williams: We'll never get anywhere charging less- but if we convince them that this is special dung from special elephants that yields special coffee-that it's not just the same but in fact makes Crappacino in the universe- we can charge $10 a cup.
Smith: Not enough...
Williams: 20? 30?.. how 'bout 50?
Jones: Bingo! You're a genius Williams. These are the same morons that put "W" in office and actually reelected him- they'll certainly pay a premium for cafe-au-shit if we tell them to.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE: It's not as if it's unique to Kaua`i. The expression, "It's not what you know but who you know," wasn't coined in Lihu`e. It just seems like it sometimes.
While it's been that way since the island's haole sugar planters who comprised the Board of Supervisors appointed the mayor, under the current administration cronyism is not just the mothers' milk of our local politics but the very air it breathes.
That's why it so scrumptious to watch them eat their young as two leviathans (as it were) of local politics, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and Police Chief Darryl Perry, engage in one of those 1890's bare-knuckled, you-take-a-punch-I-take-a-punch boxing matches being staged over once-solid alliances that have turned inward on the body politic like antibodies rejecting a transplanted organ.
The battle over who has the right to discipline the chief of police, the mayor or the police commission, is not new. As a matter of fact the events that followed the last time a skirmish was fought (although it never went to court)- when in the late 90's Mayor Marianne Kusaka got Chief George Freitas' secretary to take away his gun and badge ostensibly because he gave his fiancee a ride in his official police vehicle- has led directly, in a strange karmic way, to today's standoff.
For those who have been doing a Rip Van Winkle recently, the commission vs mayor question came up earlier this year again when Perry allegedly ignored sexual harassment charges against one of his two assistant chiefs and coverup charges against the other. Carvalho felt he had to step in and suspend the chief because the county charter doesn't directly address who has the right to discipline the chief but does give him the right to discipline all department heads.
The court, in the person of former councilmember and now Circuit Court Judge Randall Valenciano, ruled in favor of the mayor, saying there was no ambiguity in the charter despite the fact that it says that the commission hires and fires the chief.
The commission is now reportedly appealing the ruling despite their promise, according to earlier reports, to let Valenciano decide without any appeal. And for some crazy reason (coming from
the person whose initials are MR) the county council has just voted to fund the appeal as they did with the original case.
But back to the chain of craters from Chiefs Freitas to Perry with a speed bump named Lum thrown in in between.
Readers of this space, and of course the book KPD Blue (see left rail) by former Honolulu Star-Bulletin Kaua`i Bureau Chief Anthony Sommer, know the story of how Perry coveted the Kaua`i chief job. He and his allies engineered their way to ousting Chief KC Lum- an "outsider" (as was Freitas) from Kansas City (despite his Asian ancestry) who wasn't about to give deference to the tradition of drug dealers and other assorted bad apples on the force.
This was known as "destroying morale"... no, really.
Those allies included Mayors Kusaka and, because he had no appetite for going up against the old boys network upon which the crony network relies, Mayor Bryan Baptiste when he took the county reins in 2002.
Although Baptiste had only one real crony- Bryan Baptiste- he saw the value others gave it and always used it to his advantage.
And included on the list of allies was, of course, County Council Chair Kaipo Asing, the paternalistic godfather of local government who saw to it that the Board of Ethics removed Lum on trumped up charges in order to grease the skid for putting Perry in the top spot.
That was the position that the GOBs (now GOBAGs since gender has little to do with who is and who is not a good old boy or girl these days) who felt the locally-born-and-raised Perry was cheated out of his rightful position when, after Freitas "retired" (with a reported $250,000 settlement/buy-out), two upstart police commissioners- Chair Michael Ching and Vice Chair Carol Furtado- decided that the only way to end the blatant corruption and moral ineptitude described in KPD Blue was to appoint an "outsider", Lum, who had served for many years on the force.
Bad move guys. Who knew? (Answer: everybody but them).
So when Baptiste ate himself into a deadly heart-attack (and actually tried to cover-up his own death for two or three days), Carvalho stepped into a county where Perry was the new god of "raised morale" in the department. And, in a "my crony is your crony and your crony is my crony" move, he appointed all Perry supporters to the already pro-Perry commission that had helped engineer the ouster of Lum, Ching and Furtado... although she actually resigned after demanding a public "trial" in front of the ethics board where the case against all three was then seen by all to be the politically-based purge it really was all along.
Carvalho has always played the crony system for all it was worth. And it has worked for him. Those who support and even fall on their sword for him, and past purveyors of the system, get rewarded with life-long, high-paying, county department head or deputy jobs, like the recently-in-the-news Janine Rapozo... but that's another story for another time.
The very last thing Carvalho thought he would have to worry about was a renegade police commission because he never saw the conflict with Perry coming. But when he was put in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position when he was told of Perry's alleged coverup of the harassment charges that had gone to the EEOC already, he chose to protect himself from the potential public outcry over a coverup of the sexual harassment charges against the chief, who apparently tried to intimidate the complainant.
So here we are- the police commissioners, when pushed to show their true allegiance, chose Perry, leaving Carvalho with his pants down and his you-know-whats exposed and swingin' in the breeze (of public opinion anyway)... exactly what he had hoped to avoid.
To say "what goes around comes around" is an understatement and it all leaves those of us looking for a good chuckle being rewarded for our patience.
We imagine Lum, Ching and Furtado- and of course Sommer- are similarly amused.
Monday, November 26, 2012
CLICK YOU'RE IT: Photography Is Not a Crime, as the web site dedicated to that tenet iterates.
Courts across the country have pretty much closed that case by stating that police can't arrest you just for taking pictures of them. But locally it's been a fight to get some- especially and specifically a few officers in the Maui and Hawai`i Island police departments- to recognize those rulings, despite memos to that effect from department leadership.
We highlighted the case of Big Island "reporting-blogger" Damon Tucker in August of 2011 when he tried to take some pics of a police action outside a Pahoa bar where a fight had broken out. Apparently, when Tucker refused to stop taking pictures he was allegedly beaten and arrested and his camera was confiscated.
And last week it seems it happened again. Last Tuesday Maui Police arrested Maui Time (not The Maui Times) publisher Thomas A. Russo for, he says, taking video of a police operation to enforce laws regarding "over-sized vehicles and vehicles with windows having illegal tints" with his cell phone, according to a report on Maui Now, a Maui news web site.
Although Maui Time itself seems to be lacking any mention of the incident, Maui Now reports that:
Maui police arrested the publisher of Maui Time today for three alleged offenses including obstruction of government operations, resisting arrest, and harassment.
The incident stems from an attempt by Russo to allegedly video tape a traffic stop that took place this morning (November 20, 2012) along the Haleakala Highway.
Thomas A. Russo, 39, was released after posting $3,000 bail...
Maui police were conducting a traffic stop at around 9:20 a.m. along the Haleakala Highway near the Hana Highway intersection when the encounter with Russo was reported. According to police reports, two police vehicles followed a vehicle that was being pulled over for illegal tints.
Shortly thereafter, police say another vehicle pulled up behind the police vehicles and the lone operator exited and approached the traffic stop. The operator, later identified by police as Thomas A. Russo, publisher of Maui Time, started to video tape the traffic stop with his cell phone, according to police reports.
Police say Russo allegedly proceeded past the police vehicles and continued walking toward the vehicle that had been stopped while still videotaping the incident with a cell phone.
Police say that as a matter of routine police traffic stop procedures designed for officer safety, the officers advised Russo to stay behind the police vehicles while they conducted a controlled traffic stop investigation. According to police reports, Russo allegedly refused to comply and continued approaching and videotaping the officers and the two occupants.
Police said the two occupants of the vehicle then informed the officers that they had been alarmed by Russo videotaping them...
This is Russo’s second incident over the filming of police. On April 12, 2011, Russo claims he was assaulted by an MPD officer while attempting to film the crew of reality television show “Dog the Bounty Hunter” (since cancelled), and later, the same officer attending the scene.
But according to an article at "Maui Feed," an apparent offshoot of Maui Time
Citing substantial inaccuracies in both a official Maui Police Department statement and various news accounts, Maui Time Publisher Thomas Russo has posted the video footage of his Nov. 20 arrest while trying to film various Maui Police Officers engaged in “Operation Recon” on Haleakala Highway, a massive effort to ticket citizens for driving vehicles with over-sized tires and illegally tinted windows. The video clearly shows that he was complying with the Maui Police Officers’ orders that he get back from their traffic stop at the time he was arrested.
Contrary to the Maui Police Department’s assertion that Russo “compromised the officers’ safety, after failing to comply with numerous requests from the officers to move back behind the police vehicles and was then placed under arrest,” the video clearly shows Russo was arrested for filming the Maui Police Officers and not for”obstructing a government operation,” as he’s been charged with (along with resisting arrest and harassment).
Indeed, the video shows Russo complying with officer Rusty Lawson’s request that Russo stand back. Indeed, the video shows Russo walking backwards, away from the officers as Lawson repeatedly says, “Stand back.” The video also shows that after Russo identified himself by name and as a member of the media–all the while walking back, away from the officers–Lawson arrested him anyway.
“I stopped to find out why it was so important to back up traffic for miles,” Russo said after being released. “Social media was blowing up my phone, asking what was going on there. I wanted a report from the scene. I was arrested for filming and all other charges from the MPD are ridiculous. The police chose to arrest me in a direct attempt to stop the documenting of their activities.”
Filming law enforcement officers on a public highway is protected under the First Amendment, states the American Civil Liberties Union.
He goes on the quote ACLU-Hawai`i senior staff attorney Dan Gluck about the first amendment right to "photograph anything that is in plain view... includ(ing) pictures of federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police. Such photography is a form of public oversight over the government and is important in a free society.”
So, chalk up another episode of Hawai`i cops harassing members of the media for taking pictures of them?
Well, not so fast there.
Russo has chosen to post the recording on YouTube so we took a look. And contrary to Russo's account the recording certainly does NOT show "Russo complying with officer Rusty Lawson’s request that Russo stand back" or most of the other contentions in the Maui Feed article.
As the recording plainly shows Russo was not arrested for taking video but, indeed, for failing to get the heck behind the parked cars as a safety measure after being informed of the safety issue and being asked four times by police to move behind the cars.
The recording shows Russo approached the officer and repeatedly barked questions at him regarding the traffic backup Russo claimed was being being created by the police action. Traffic was apparently moving at a regular pace in the clip. The officer can be seen standing about a foot or so away from the traffic speeding by and, after being told to stand "over there"- with the officer indicating he meant behind the stopped cars- Russo refused and was arrested .
When asked, the cop identified himself as Officer Fairchild.
Contrary to Russo's account, the recording plainly shows another officer- identified by Russo as Lawson- who then approaches him and repeatedly asks him to get behind the car for safety reasons or else, Lawson finally tells Russo, he would be arrested.
Russo ignored the officer and held his ground and finally the officer moved to arrest him at which point Russo started screaming "you touched me."
Then and only then, after the officer started to arrest him for failing to move to a safer location, did Russo start backing up, saying "I'm backing up" while apparently walking backwards very slowly as the officer was attempting to handcuff and arrest him.
The video shows Russo apparently resisting arrest, or at least he did not readily submit to arrest, as Lawson can be heard saying twice. And although there was no evidence the police cared a whit about Russo recording the operation as long as he did so from a safe place, he told the officer his name telling them he was a "member of the media," apparently intimating that he thought that conferred upon him some sort of special protection from arrest.
While simply recording something, including the police, is not a crime, members of the media have no special privileges as opposed to anyone else who is otherwise following the law and recording something. As long as they are doing the recording from a public right of way or a place where they have permission to be, all have the same right to record the police. While in some jurisdictions police will issue "press passes" that generally allow reporters behind "police lines," that did not seem to be the case here and Russo did not produce any press pass.
Why why do we care?
We've been defending the rights of people in Hawai`i to record the police without harassment or arrest for years now. Tucker's was not the first incident. And it seems like police departments around the state have finally starting issuing policy and procedure memos reminding officer that they can't arrest people simply for taking pictures of them as long as the person is otherwise complying with the law.
But when people like Russo claim the "right to photograph" cops on the job and then clearly create an unsafe condition by refusing to comply with repeated reasonable and legal requests to move to a safer location to record the police, he makes that right more tenuous for all of us by misrepresenting the whole event.
At no point did anyone ask Russo to stop taking pictures or even refer to the recording or his cell phone camera.
Taking photos is not a crime. But, the ACLU will tell you, one's right to take them doesn't confer the right to otherwise violate the law while doing so. Trying to toe that line is one thing but obliterating it as Russo did and then claiming his rights were violated puts everyone's right to photograph in jeopardy.
As the recording shows, Russo was rude and obnoxious and it appears has some kind of chip on his shoulder over the issue, thinking the cops knew or even cared who he was when all they apparently cared about was insuring safety on the roads by checking for illegally oversized vehicles and tinted windows. And of course, insuring their own safety in doing so.
It just takes one to ruin it for everyone. In this case it leaves us shaking our head and wondering what world Russo lives in... and what video he was watching.
Friday, November 23, 2012
WHAT YOU WANT, BABY I GOT IT: Apparently opposition to the Public Lands Development Corporation (PDLC) has snowballed to the point where Governor Neil Abercrombie has, in a face saving operation, abandoned his paternalist patter of telling opponents they're too dumb to understand it all.
In a statement Friday, Abercrombie announced he would ask the PDLC board to abandon their rule-making for a spell until he can send his Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) chief Bill Aila out into the community to give it the one last try before the legislature- now under new management in the house- starts the process to repeal Act 55.
The "dissidents" that have taken over the house are, for the most part, those who have said they would at least consider repeal, while the "out" faction is comprised, for the most part, of those who created the PLDC in the first place and have opposed repeal.
And in the senate even Sen. Donovan Del Cruz, who played a major role in sneaking the bill through in the first place, is- homana, homana, homana- making like Ralph Kramden as it becomes clear his latest get-rich-quick scheme has blown up in his face.
That has led some opponents to warn others to treat Aila with "respect" if we expect to see him take home a "no can" message. As former Senate Majority Leader and current Kaua`i Councilmember- elect Gary Hooser- a PLDC repeal proponent- advised in a post on Facebook today:
Normally we might agree. But the utter "don't worry your pretty little head" disrespect exhibited by both Abercrombie and Aila so far hasn't exactly inspired opponents to try to make nice.
The problem with "respect" is that the very concept of the PDLC is disrespectful of the protections placed in the law over the course of decades to protect "public" lands from development. Whether in terms of environmental protections, transparency of process or the development of public lands without any deference to constitutionally-mandated "home rule," the very concept of the PLDC- essentially a handful of developers cut loose from following any of the rules- is a slap in the face to many... not to mention the fact that there are many who think most so-called "public" land was stolen from native Hawaiians to begin with.
Any attempts to circumvent current protections is a non-starter. As a matter of fact, there is nothing those who "support the concept of the PLDC" want to do that can't be done using the due processes currently in place.
If Aila comes to the community with that basic paternalistic disrespect of "oh- you just don't understand"- as he and Abercrombie have done over the past few months- they can't expect the very respect they won't show us.
The are many who have compared the PLDC to the Superferry in the fact that it is another state scheme being pushed down the throats of the neighbor islands- where much of the land in question is situated. If Aila and Abercrombie are wiser that a certain recently-defeated senate candidate they will be showing a lot more respect long before they ask for any from us.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
TASTE LIKE IT- SURE GLAD WE DIDN'T STEP IN IT: We couldn't have been older than five when we read this "Nancy and Sluggo" cartoon where they were running against each other for class president. The battle was heated and the rhetoric down and dirty. Nancy seemed a shoo-in.
But when the teacher counted the ballots she threw them all up in the air declaring, "It's a tie- everybody voted for themselves."
The final frame shows Nancy at the soda fountain buying ice cream for everyone in the class. The "captions" say:
Sluggo: " Nancy, how come you’re buying everyone ice cream?...you lost!"
Nancy: "Sluggo, you'll just never understand politics."
We thought "well, we don't get it either but, then, we're only five years old." Yet truth to tell, we think about Nancy and Sluggo and the soda fountain every election day and realize that we're just like Sluggo and don't understand politics either.
But we have learned one thing- the best food is always at the "victory" party, whether the candidate wins or loses.
So we're off to one such gathering tonight and hoping that even though out favorite candidate is not exactly a seasoned campaigner he does have lots of local political veterans on his team and, as always, they'll make sure there's "plenty local grinds" available.
After literally hundreds of political campaigns, as long as we live and we apparently remain a Sluggo- we'll never "get" politics, but that doesn't mean we won't enjoy the ice cream when it's served.
Monday, November 5, 2012
TO BUST OR NOT TO BUST- IS THAT REALLY A QUESTION?: Joan Conrow reported today what happened with Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho's attempted arrest of Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. upon whch we conjecured Friday. She says:
And in what can best be described as an act of political desperation —some might say suicide — Shay was reportedly attempting to bust Mayor Bernard Carvalho last Friday for allegedly stealing gas, an issue that surfaced this past July.
As I first heard it, Shay and Police Chief Darryl Perry had arrested the mayor. Whoa! Big drama! So I immediately contacted county spokeswoman Beth Tokioka, who replied, “No, they haven't.” But my sources were adamant that something was going down. So I contacted Beth again and asked, did the mayor turn himself in, or is this totally off base?
“No, he wasn't arrested and he didn't turn himself in,” Beth emailed back Friday afternoon. “He's been in meetings or in his office for most of the day and is still there now.”
Meanwhile, I had contacted Chief Perry. On Saturday morning, he emailed this response:
With respect to your question, no, the Mayor was not arrested as you probably know by now. While there has been a tremendous amount of speculation, I cannot comment on any on-going investigation, but what I can do is to assure you and the community that KPD will conduct investigations based on the facts and will not be subject to outside influences or threats that may deter us from seeking the truth. The facts are the facts and are not subject to subjective interpretations. And so we do what we can and treat everyone equitably irrespective of their stature in the community. However, we do not make the final decision on whether or not justice will prevail because we are only one segment of the Criminal Justice System.
Today, I was told that Shay reportedly had sought an arrest warrant, but no judge would sign.
Pray tell what level of political depravity and what kind of criminally insane mind would try to bust the mayor- whether he did anything illegal or not and whether there was any evidence of it or not (which, presumably, judging from the judges' action, or lack of it, he didn't and there isn't- a few days before an election in which she, presumably, trails badly (as evidenced by this and other recent demented attempts to abuse her measly hundred-some-odd-thousand-dollar-a-year office)?
Just askin' ya know...
While we're glad she was unable to pull her little November Surprise scam we've got to wonder why she even needed an arrest warrant but, more importantly, even though she is off her rocker, what exactly is the reason that no judge would sign off on the arrest warrant? Could we get that kind of deference if, say, someone robbed a bank and an insane prosecutor wanted to go after a certain rabid reporter- or say an Eclectic one- without a shred of valid evidence?
Just askin', ya know...
Sunday, November 4, 2012
RIGHT ON SCHEDULE: Despite the fact that many across the country are worried about intentional voter suppression in places like Ohio and Florida, the practice is apparently alive and well on little Kaua`i- although we suspect it may be due to Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr's well known penchant for the use of cronyism over skill in distributing the many appointed jobs in his administration.
Although today's press release fails to list a specific department or division responsible, an announcement of "General Election Day closures" includes the fact that, in addition to closing "all refuse transfer stations, the Kekaha Landfill, the Kaua`i Resource Center, and the Kapa`a and Waimea swimming pools... (t)he Kaua`i Bus will be operating on a modified schedule on General Election Day."
Good work Yeronnah. While everyone else trying to figure out why no one in Hawai`i votes anymore you're providing yet another reason to blow it off. We couldn't be prouder.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
GRANDMA INCORPORATED: As election day 2012 approaches there can't be many people who don't know what a "SuperPAC" is or what "Citizens United" means.
But fewer know what an IRS 501(c)4 is or what it means when it comes to the huge piles of cash being infused into federal, state and local campaigns and, more to the point, who that money is coming from.
Because one of the quirks of combining the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Citizens United (CU) decision with existing IRS non-profit-organization laws is that it allows those 501(c)4s to collect unlimited amounts of money from unknown secret donors and then give that money to the SuperPACs, resulting in hundreds of millions- if not billions- of dollars being spent without even a clue given as to where it came from.
Many objected- and still object- to CU on the basis of it's "corporate personhood" presumption- that, as Mitt Romney said, "corporations are people my friend," making it hard to know which word is more farcical, "corporations" or "friend."
But one of the contentions in support of the 5-4 decision allowing unlimited expenditures is that the money is not a problem as long as you know where it is coming from and who is doing the giving. Even individuals and some groups that support getting cash out of politics entirely often make this claim.
This is not new ground. Anyone who listens to the blathering TV heads has heard this kind of discussion. But we've been all but flabbergasted that many have completely ignored the now barely remembered or mentioned dust-up at President Obama's state of the union speech following the CU ruling.
Many will remember that, with most members of the SCOTUS sitting a few feet away, Obama criticized the ruling, not just for it's potential to flood the country with cash from unknown donors but for the fact that those secret donors could well be foreign entities- whether actual people or overseas corporations- who can now funnel money though those 501(c)4s- in violation of US law forbidding foreign money in US politics.
That led to ultra-conservative Justice Sam Alito's now infamous indignant head shaking and his mouthing of the words "not true" at Obama's suggestion regarding the potential for illegal foreign money influencing US election- indicating that such a thing could not be a result of the ruling.
So where is the discussion of this amongst the corporate punditry? Are their memories that short? Moreover, where are the demands that Alito and the rest of the five CU decision supporters- Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy- acknowledge that their position has been demonstrably shown to be a pile of hogshit and indeed the floodgates allowing foreign cash are wide open.
The fact is that foreign cash may well be a big part of the "SuperPAC" influx that has made this year's election a minefield of back-to-back-to-back 30 second clips of spooky music and lying, sarcastic voices. That's because the source of the money is, well, secret. While no one has found actual foreign cash going through 501(c)4s to SuperPACs no one has identified any of the secret donors.
Since no one can prove anything either way, the odds that a foreign person, company or even government has spent millions to influence US elections without anyone knowing it are astronomically in favor of it.
And unless one of the unholy five drops dead soon it seems a good bet it will only get worse for the foreseeable future.
Friday, November 2, 2012
CALL ME ADOLPH: The rumor mill in Lihu`e was churning out sausage at an alarming rate Friday and apparently you couldn't walk down the street without hearing about a certain prosecutor's plans to charge a certain chief executive with stealing certain large amounts of a certain combustible fluid.
The arrest appears to be part of a planned scorched-earth march through Atlanta- an important element of a certain SIC individual's upcoming "no blame-no shayme/Fuck You, Kaua`i" retirement tour that may indeed include a parade of certain other mucky-mucks on a certain prosecutor's enemies list winding up in a certain Wailua pokey... right after said certain prosecutor loses a certain election on a certain Tuesday next week.
It certainly doesn't seem like our nutzo-futzo drama queen is planning on practicing law after knifing a certain circuit court judge last week when said judgy-wudgy got quite wuzzy with our alcoholic fuzzy.
Is Paris- er Lihu`e Burning?
TWO PIGS TO FLAIL: In a recent interview with Rolling Stone President Obama directly criticized Matt Taibbi's article earlier this year on the Dodd-Frank Wall St. reform legislation over what Taibbi calls the "red herring" of Obama's claim that the collapse of Lehman Brothers had nothing to do with the 1990's repeal of Glass Steagall- the law that used to separate commercial and investment banks- because Lehman wasn't such an institution. Taibbi's blog post last week refutes Obama's claim and reminds us of what really happened.
ANCHORS AWEIGH With the names Linda Lingle and Mitt Romney on the ballot next week if you missed this recent "Wired" article about John Lehman- the former Secretary of the Navy, current adviser to Mitt Romney and the brains behind the Superferry- this would be a good time to peruse it. As the article says:
"Lehman invested in a government-backed “Superferry” in Hawaii — a business that ultimately failed, but not before boosting the standing of Austal USA, an Alabama shipbuilder that constructed the ferry service’s ships. Austal USA’s rising fortunes in turn benefited international defense giant BAE Systems, which then bought up shipyards owned by Lehman in order to work more closely with Austal USA. "
It's especially ingratiating to see that, historically, this is the final narrative on the Superferry- that it was never intended as a transportation system but was always a demonstration project for new a line of Navy vessels designed simply to line Lehman's pockets and, tangentially, allow Linda Lingle to suck up to the ultra-conservatives in the Republican Party.
Many chided us at the time for being critical of some some Superferry opponents, among them Kahoon Paik and Jerry Mander whose so-called "definitive" book, the Superferry Chronicles, failed to expose this connection (which we detailed at the time along with Joan Conrow in her USS Superferry series) and rather used corporate media article to paint a picture without the military connection.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
HIATUS, SCHMIATUS: There is an election coming up here and it's hard to know whether our general nausea is health-related or whether our suffering is suffrage-generated. So, as a test, we're back from the half-dead to share our take on a few of the lesser evils pending voter approval on November 6.
Of course there's a criminally insane persecutor- er, prosecutor- who's asking for a chance to continue her disservice. So if you like abuse of power with a racist tinge your loooodicrous choice would be Shaylene "the Spitter" Iseri-Carvalho. Sane voters however will be selecting Justin Kollar who is actually, from all indications, a thoughtful, progressive and apparently honest attorney who, even if he weren't has the fact that he is not Shaylene going for him. And he has our enthusiastic support.
When it comes to the council race, shockingly nothing has changed since our evaluations before theAugust primary except that the assholes have become more, well, assholy with Mel Rapozo and Kipukai Kuali`i battling it out for the title of the Alpha Douche-bag. That and a warning about Ross Kagawa who has been busy making kissy face (and butt) with the good old boys and girls for the past couple of decades and is now trying to move up a notch to become an elected smarm-meister
But shockingly there is someone to actually for vote FOR locally because the man who takes the dirty out of the words "dirty politician," Gary Hooser, is "returning" to Kaua`i and running for a county council seat. Gary is a walking contradiction- an honest man who actually serves the people while serving in office. We honestly can't think of more than once or twice where we've had to disagree with him and that's because of our notorious radical, commie-pinko leanings.
Gary is amazingly willing to publicly and vocally get out front on controversial issues that truly move him- for instance he was not only the first member of the legislature to oppose the Super Ferry but very publicly led much of the Kaua`i-based opposition... although he wasn't out on the docks of Nawiliwili with a bullhorn leading the blockade, as was rumored in Honolulu. He also took a stand for civil rights when many of the more bible-addled decided to poke their noses in the crotches of same gender couples, successfully guiding the civil unions legislation through the state senate while his fellow reps and sens were running away from the issue. We could go on and on but hopefully you get the idea.
That brings us to the horns of the Minotaur’s dilemma- there are two names that we urge you to consider in addition to your vote for Gary. As former Councilmember Lani Kawahara wrote recently:
I will be casting ONLY 3 votes in the Kauai County Council race, and those votes go to Gary Hooser, JoAnn Yukimura and Tim Bynum.
Dynamics play a huge part in creating and passing positive, meaningful legislation. With Gary, JoAnn and Tim on the Council, we will have the best chance of creating a responsible and sustainable way of life on Kauai that respects the culture and makes Kauai a model for other counties to follow. We can move forward with progressive initiatives that will benefit Kauai’s families.
Gary is a proven, effective legislator who will protect our environment and our access to our beaches and mountains. He will work toward making Kauai energy and food self-sufficient. His legislative experience, leadership and voice on the Council will be a huge asset in protecting the interests of the community and the land.
JoAnn Yukimura also has an unquestionable record of integrity and achievement in those areas important to me: environmental protection, affordable housing and public transportation.
Tim Bynum is smart, hardworking and totally dedicated to putting our community first. It was truly an honor to serve with him. In this current term, Tim reduced taxes, providing tax relief to residents for the first time in years. Tim also understands the importance of open, honest government and has shown he is willing to speak truth to power.
JoAnn and Tim have worked well together these past two years but have sometimes been stymied by opposition and roadblocks put up by others. Add Gary to the mix and the Council dynamics will change dramatically for the positive.
Though I know, have worked with, and have great respect for the other candidates, there is no question in my mind whatsoever that ONLY these three individuals consistently represent my personal hopes and dreams for Kauai.
This race will be close and every vote will count. Please join me in voting only for Gary, JoAnn and Tim to ensure that the Kauai we love and the ideals we cherish are supported and nurtured during the years ahead.
We do want to add one more thing for those who are planning on voting for JoAnn Yukimura but are withholding your vote from Tim Bynum because of his strong support for the measure to grandfather Transient Vacation Rentals (TVRs) on Agriculturally-zoned land while banning new ones. We do want to remind you that Yukimura also supported the measure so it would seem a little hypocritical to support her while rejecting him based on that one issue.
While we disagree with Tim on many issues we are convinced that whatever he does he does it because he actually believes it's the right thing to do- something you don't otherwise see on the Kaua`i County Council these days. That alone earns or respect and vote.
We also ask you to reject all of the Kaua`i charter amendments. While not going into the specifics of each one they do have some things in common. Each is generally poorly written, attempts to solve a problem that doesn't really exist and/or, in fact, makes matters worse, usually by tackling minutia instead of actually reforming their target areas.
Finally, if you are looking for someone to actually vote FOR in the presidential race please join us in voting for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.
See you sometime, hopefully, in the hopeful near future.
Monday, September 24, 2012
VIDEO: WATENABE COOKS ISERI'S RICE: Even if you heard the story of how Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watenabe unceremoniously removed Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho and her office from pursuing the prosecution of Tim Bynum in the "Rice Cooker Gate" case, it can't hold a candle to actually seeing her chide Deputy PA Jake Delaplane. Here the priceless clip of her doing just that.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
SEPARATING THE WHITE FROM THE RICE: It can't be a surprise to anyone who has followed our coverage of"Rice-Cooker-Gate"- going back to November of 2010 - that Councilmember Tim Bynum has finally filed a malicious prosecution suit against Kaua`i Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho.
The content of the suit- the "Facts" section of which are presented below, interspersed with background material and comments- won't shock our readers very much either. But for anyone who hasn't been able or attempted to put our real-time exposure of Iseri's blatant abuses of power into an even more horrific narrative, Bynum's attorneys- including local lawyer Dan Hempey and former State Attorney General Marjorie Bronster- have served up for Iseri what many hope will be some measure of the proverbial "dish best served cold"
The barely-scratching-the-surface coverage in the local and Honolulu papers failed to go into any depth, as could be expected. And that left former Kaua`i Council Chair Kaipo Asing- the mastermind behind the political hatchet job against Bynum- pretty much unidentified.
While his role is central to the plot and he is identified in the narrative of the suit as a driving force behind the farce, he isn't named as a defendant, so his role has yet to be widely exposed.
For the underpinnings of the whole story you can use the search box at the top of this page to go back and read how much of the basis for the suit began with Bynum's challenges of the paternalistic power exercised by the once beloved and eventually corrupt and reviled "Uncle Chair," as Bynum and others had taken to calling Asing.
In brief, toward the end of his career, Asing, the one time "voice of the people," began to abuse his evolving power until the wheels of Kaua`i government meshed solely at his whim.
Bynum, along with now-retired Councilperson Lani Kawahara, dared to challenge Asing's power grab simply by asking for things like adherence to the state's sunshine and open records laws, general transparency and public access to documents. They even had to do battle to place items on the agenda, something that Asing had come to deny councilmembers on matters which Asing didn't want publicly addressed.
When she was a councilmember, Iseri, along with fellow Councilperson Mel Rapozo, had become the chief minions of the Minotaur, owing much of their political careers to Asing's benevolence.
Nothing was too much for Asing to ask.
Going deeper though, much of this whole debacle has roots- as does everything seemingly on Kaua`i- in the infamous "Lap Dancer" episode, as described in the book KPD Blue by Tony Sommer which is serialized at this site (see left rail). That led to the infamous Executive Session (ES) 177 where Rapozo, a former Kaua`i Police Department (KPD) officer who was present in the room at police headquarters that night she was fondled by officers, went into a rant about the incident and other potentially explosive internal KPD matters.
Despite orders from the Office of Information Practices (OIP) that the potentially explosive minutes be released publicly, Asing successfully went all the way to the Hawai`i Supreme Court (HSC) to protect Rapozo from exposure, leaving Rapozo- and his ally Iseri of course- forever politically indebted to Asing.
In addition to everything else, Iseri had her own personal feud going with Bynum, much of it seemingly a part of Iseri's well known "anti-haole (Caucasian)" attitude- a mindset finally manifesting itself in the recent settlement of an EEOC racial harassment case.
Another factor in Iseri's enmity for Bynum was her opposition to Bynum's measure which ended Transient Vacation Rentals (TVRs) on Agriculturally zoned land but allowed existing ones to be grandfathered in. It was a major issue on Kaua`i and passage of the resulting ordinance left Iseri, Rapozo and Asing seething and licking their wounds.
So Iseri needed very little prodding to join Rapozo in doing the dirty work for "team Asing" during the well-documented good governance "Battle Royale" between Bynum and Asing.
That set up the "set up," so to speak, and Iseri set on a path to "get" Bynum after she successfully ran for Prosecuting Attorney in 2008.
The "Facts" section of the lawsuit lays out a chilling tale of how Planning Department Supervising Inspector Sheila Miyake trumped up charges against Bynum at the behest of Iseri and ultimately Asing, both of whom are identified by Miyake as apparent co-initiators of the scheme to issue the notice of a building violation.
Missing is the back story of Asing's years-long quest to silence Bynum who had been a thorn in Asing's side on the council as we briefly touched on above. Those seeking to read the whole sordid tale can make good use of the search box at the top of this page, inserting names and terms we've used here in order to follow the blow-by-blow accounts we've presented over the past almost three years.
The detailed "facts," as presented in suit itself (in italics), are a worth a look too. So, interspersed with a little background, here they are.
Beginning in 2008, BYNUM, following legal guidance offered by the Kaua'i County Attorney's Office, voted for certain amendments to Kaua'i zoning laws with which Defendants MIYAKE and ISERI-CARVALHO disagreed.
BYNUM's right to vote as he did was protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and his votes related to matters of public concern.
Defendant ISERI-CARVALHO left employment with the Kaua'i County Council after she began her term as Kaua'i County Prosecuting Attorney in 2008.
Defendant ISERI-CARVALHO has a history of animosity toward Plaintiff. She harbors personal animosity toward the Plaintiff. She vehemently disagreed with Plaintiffs vote for certain amendments to Kaua'i zoning laws beginning in 2008.
Defendant MIYAKE has a history of animosity toward Plaintiff. She harbors personal animosity toward the Plaintiff.
The "amendment" was a successful effort by Bynum to "grandfather" existing Transient Vacation Rentals (TVRs) on agriculturally zoned land but ban new ones.
From there Bynum's suit sets up some of the events that led Iseri to go after Bynum
2010 was an election year for the Kaua'i County Council. After the election, it was known that Deputy County Attorney Michael Dahilig would replace the sitting Director of the Kaua'i Planning Department, Ian Costa as of December 1,2010.
Prior to the 2010 election, Attorneys Michael Dahilig and Ian Jung were employed as deputy county attorneys for the Defendant COUNTY OF KAUAI. These two attorneys were tasked with, among other things, advising the various employees of the PLANNING DEPARTMENT, including but not limited to Defendant MIYAKE, as to the proper interpretation and enforcement of the COUNTY OF KAUAI'S Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance ("CZO") as well as regarding the ability and/or constraints on Planning Officials to enter private property for the purpose of conducting inspections related to zoning compliance.
At all times pertinent to this matter, and to this day, Plaintiff was the owner of a single family home in Kapaa, Hawai'i.
Pursuant to the Kaua'i CZO, it is illegal to convert a single-family dwelling unit into a multi-family dwelling unit without an appropriate permit.
In 2005, BYNUM built an addition onto his home to accommodate the four (4) generations of family members living there at the time. The drawings for the addition went through informal and formal review by the Planning Department. Prior to permitting, a representative of the Planning Department informed BYNUM that the addition, as designed, was legal as long as no stove was installed. The plans for the addition were approved by the Planning Department, after being circulated to and approved by various departments including the Planning Department and a valid building permit was issued. The County sent inspectors during construction, and conducted a final inspection, after construction, after which the Plaintiff was issued a certificate of occupancy.
A laundry room separated the original home from the permitted addition. The door between the original home and the addition had a lock at the time the addition was approved and permitted. The permitted addition also contained a counter top/bar and a sink, as well as several electrical receptacles.
In March and April 2010, plaintiff BYNUM allowed his daughter's friend, Victory Yokotake, to occupy a room in and reside in the BYNUM family home.
While residing at the BYNUM home, Ms. Yokotake had access to the family kitchen.
In early 2010 a female came to the BYNUM residence and allegedly assaulted Victory Yokotake. A police officer came to the house to investigate. The police officer generated a report that incorrectly characterized the addition to the BYNUM home as a separate apartment.
At the time it was generated, this police report regarding the assault of Ms. Yokotake was a protected and confidential document, only to be lawfully viewed by members of the police department and the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
But even though there was nothing illegal in what Bynum was doing, Iseri was determined to bend the facts and the law- to the point of breaking- in order to put an end to Bynum's political career and, she hoped, to convict him of a supposed crime... one that didn't exist.
In early 2010 an unknown person who had lawful access to the police report informed Defendants MIYAKE and ISERI-CARVALHO that s/he believed that BYNUM was "renting out a portion of his residence" illegally.
Defendants MIYAKE and ISERI-CARVALHO each knew or should have known at the time of the report that there was nothing illegal about plaintiff renting out a portion of his home to his daughter's friend.
Upon receiving the allegation that BYNUM was renting out a portion of his residence, Defendant MIYAKE wrote down the reporting person's name as "Kalani Martin" although, upon information and belief, she knew that not to be true. MIYAKE also claimed on the report form that she generated that the reporting person "wants to remain anonymous." Upon information and belief, "Kalani Martin" never made the subject report to MIYAKE, but his name was used falsely by MIYAKE as cover for the true reporting person. MIYAKE knew the true identity of the reporting person. Nonetheless, she treated the report as an anonymous complaint.
Defendant MIYAKE has stated that she acted on the subject report because, inter alia, the Kaua'i County Council Chair, "Kaipo Asing, was asking."
Government Inspectors at the Defendant PLANNING DEPARTMENT are not legally authorized, absent a warrant or an exception to the warrant requirement, to enter onto private property to investigate an anonymous complaint that someone is renting out a portion of his or her home, especially where renting out a portion of one's home is not illegal.
Next is the smoking gun which we reported on years ago- an email from Iseri showing her to be the one who contemplated and initiated action in the matter before it was ever on Miyake's radar screen- or for that matter anyone in the planning department.
Iseri has repeatedly denied she was in anyway involved in the matter until the planning department came to her with the supposed "violation" which the email disproves.
On or about April 7, 2010, before the Planning Department had instigated any investigation of the "anonymous" complaint, defendant Prosecuting Attorney ISERI-CARVALHO emailed then-Director Ian Costa of the PLANNING DEPARTMENT, stating: "Aloha Ian, We received information to corroborate an anonymous complaint dated March 26,2010 that was sent to the Planning Department and our office, that Councilmember Tim BYNUM was renting out his house, or a portion thereof. Can you let me know if renting out a portion of his residence is illegal given his land status, and what ordinance/statute would he be violating by doing so? Please advise. Much Mahalo, Shay."
Mr. Costa responded to Ms. ISERI-CARVALHO's email, advising her in relevant part: "The CZO really doesn't prohibit renting portions of structures. Even the issue of "lock-outs" is not addressed. The CZO does not dictate where locks are permitted and not permitted (thank goodness!). The issue would be whether the area, in question creates a "multi-family" dwelling. What was permitted is a "single-family" dwelling based on "one kitchen". If a second kitchen (area used for the preparation of food) is present, then a violation would exist for an illegal "multi-family" dwelling unit. I understand Sheila has been assisting and monitoring. Let me know if we can be of farther assistance."
Next is a description of Miyake's tangled web of illegal activity- activity which, she had been repeatedly informed, was anything but lawful.
Despite the Planning Director's correct interpretation of the CZO, i.e. that the allegedly anonymous compliant did not allege any illegal activity, Defendant MIYAKE nonetheless instructed her subordinate, Planning Inspector Patrick Henriques, to enter the BYNUM property and search for potential zoning violations. MIYAKE made no attempt to obtain a search warrant, or even consult with anyone about the necessity of a warrant before entering private property for the purpose of conducting a search for zoning violations.
Prior to searching Plaintiffs property without a warrant, MIYAKE made no attempt to contact BYNUM or anyone else in his household to schedule an inspection or offer him a chance to consent to or refuse the search.
In early April 2010 Defendant MIYAKE and Inspector Henriques entered BYNUM's private property without a warrant, without notice and without permission, went through a gate, walked up a wheelchair ramp in the rear of BYNUM's home, looked in his windows and took photographs of the inside of his
While conducting the warrantless search of BYNUM's home, Defendant MIYAKE allegedly observed a portable rice cooker and a refrigerator in the addition/family room in the family home.
Defendant MIYAKE specifically timed her entry on to Plaintiffs private property to a time and date when she knew Plaintiff would not be home - MIYAKE knew BYNUM would be attending a Kaua'i County Council Meeting at the time.
But later when it was apparent Miyake was in a deep hole she did what most criminals tend to do... keep digging... and digging... and digging...
During a subsequent investigation into the allegations of zoning violations of BYNUM's property by the State Attorney General, Defendant MIYAKE claimed to a Special Deputy Attorney General, Richard Minatoya, that the previous Kaua'i County Attorney, Matthew Pyun had trained her that she could lawfully search a private home without the need for a search warrant and without notice or consent of the property owner, as long as the private home was associated with a use permit.
Upon information and belief, County Attorney Pyun never actually taught MIYAKE that she could conduct a warrantless search of a private residence, without notice to the property owner based solely on the existence of a use permit on the property.
After MIYAKE searched Plaintiffs house and allegedly observed the rice cooker, she consulted with deputy County Attorneys Jung and Dahilig about what she had seen. Each of those deputy County Attorneys advised MIYAKE that she had trespassed onto the BYNUM property, thereby engaging in an illegal warrantless search. One or both of the two deputy County Attorneys also advised MIYAKE that the presence of a rice cooker and a refrigerator in the lawfully permitted family room did not constitute a second "kitchen" within the meaning of the CZO.
Despite having been clearly informed by COUNTY lawyers that BYNUM had not committed a crime by allowing a tenant who allegedly put a rice cooker and a refrigerator in BYNUM's lawfully permitted addition, and despite having been informed by County lawyers that she had illegally trespassed onto the BYNUM property and engaged in an illegal warrantless search, Defendant MIYAKE nonetheless caused an Zoning Notice Violation to be issued to Plaintiff by the COUNTY OF KAUAI.
Now as anyone who has even deal with the planning department on this knows, what constitutes a kitchen often depends on what the planner had for breakfast as much as anything else and Miyake took full advantage of that. But one thing was always clear- to be a separate apartment there has to be a stove installed. The suit goes on to tell the sordid tale.
At all times relevant to this Complaint, the KAUAI PLANNING DEPARTMENT maintained an official policy or custom of inadequate training and supervision of its planning inspectors, with respect to what constitutes a "kitchen," the legal standards and requirements for searching private property, and Kaua'i planning inspectors have no uniform or written standards other than the CZO to as to what is or is not a kitchen.
Defendant MIYAKE has stated that "each inspector has his own kingdom" with respect to such determinations. There are no written guidelines for inspectors to follow when interpreting the Kaua'i CZO with respect to the definition of "kitchen" and such determinations are made ad hoc, arbitrarily and, in this case, capriciously and maliciously.
52. On or about April 15, 2010, MIYAKE directed Inspector Henriques to prepare a Zoning Violation Notice ("ZVN") to be issued against BYNUM, using a standard PLANNING DEPARTMENT template.
So, determined to pound the square peg into the round hole, Miyake kept digging, bringing Chair Asing's henchman, County clerk Peter Nakamura, up-to-date.
On or about April 15,2010, MIYAKE emailed the County Clerk, Peter Nakamura, with the subject line that read "4 your eyes only" and attached a copy of the April 15, 2010 ZVN. BYNUM was not informed of the ZVN for nearly one month later on May 12, 2010.
Defendant MIYAKE sent the email copy of the ZVN to the County Clerk, with the intent that it would later be made public and used against BYNUM in the coming 2010 election.
The Planning Department's April 15, 2010 ZVN form, alleged that a zoning violation had been found to "exist" on the Plaintiffs property. Such language, alleging the actual existence of a violation of the CZO, is necessary for such a Zoning Violation Notice to have legal effect — as due process requires the existence of an actual violation before civil or criminal prosecution for a violation of the CZO.
However, in BYNUM's case, the PLANNING DEPARTMENT caused the standard ZVN form originally issued in April 2010 to be altered on or about November 10, 2010 to change the sentence "we have found that a zoning 13 violation exists" to "we have found that a zoning violation may exist." (emphasis added).
At the time of the November 10, 2010 ZVN, there was no probable cause to believe that an actual zoning violation existed on BYNUM's property.
Upon information and belief, the Zoning Notice Violation prepared against BYNUM was the only such notice ever issued by the County of Kaua'i that had alleged a violation based on what "may" exist - instead of what actually did exist.
On or about November 10, 2010, then-Planning Director Ian Costa sent BYNUM a letter stating, "This notice shall supersede our letter dated April 15, 2010," and stating that "we believe ... violations of Chapter 8, Kaua'i County Code may exist."
The November 10, 2010 ZVN did not allege probable cause to believe that either a civil or a criminal zoning violation had occurred.
Defendant MIYAKE then sent the uniquely modified November 10, 2010 Zoning Violation Notice, which claimed only that the Planning Department "believed" that a violation "may" exist to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
Prior to the uniquely altered ZVN, the PLANNING DEPARTMENT routinely cc'd ZVN's to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. However, until the BYNUM ZVN, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney has never filed criminal 14 charges until and unless the Planning Department had made a specific request for such criminal charges to be filed.
So Miyake had created quite the legal mess for those around her. And Iseri's First Deputy PA Jake Delaplane was taking no chances on letting himself or his boss be the fall guy, even though Iseri was key in pushing Miyake into the hole in the first place.
In November 2010, Jacob Delaplane, Esq. worked under the supervision and direction of defendant ISERI-CARVALHO at the Kaua'i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, as a deputy prosecuting attorney. 64. In November 2010, Defendant MIYAKE met with deputy prosecuting Attorney Delaplane to discuss the BYNUM zoning matter, in depth.
Delaplane was an attorney licensed to practice law in Hawai'i at the time he met with MIYAKE.
Delaplane secretly recorded the approximately two-hour long conversation with Defendant MIYAKE.
During the November 2010 meeting with deputy prosecuting attorney Delaplane, MIYAKE informed Delaplane that deputy county attorneys Jung and Dahilig had previously advised MIYAKE that she had illegally trespassed on the BYNUM property, and engaged in an illegal search when she entered Plaintiffs property without a warrant in April 2010 and allegedly saw the portable ricecooker inside the BYNUM family home.
A portable rice-cooker is not an "installed appliance" within the meaning of the Kaua'i CZO.
Miyake, unaware she was being set up by being taped of course, spoke freely with Delaplane who wasn't about to do jail time for anyone- Miyake, or even apparently Iseri, if it came to that.
During the November 2010 meeting with Delaplane, MIYAKE informed Delaplane that deputy county attorneys Jung and Dahilig had previously advised her that the evidence that she had allegedly observed during her warrantless search (a refrigerator and a rice-cooker in the family room addition) did not constitute a second kitchen with "installed appliances" as contemplated by the Kaua'i CZO.
During the surreptitiously recorded meeting between MIYAKE and Delaplane, MIYAKE told Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Delaplane: "It is all political but I will never say on stand that it is political. It will be my demise." The prosecution of BYNUM was indeed for political reasons. MIYAKE also opined on the secretly-recorded tape that "the good guys lost" in the 2010 election. Knowing that a new Planning Director was taking over the Planning Department as a result of the 2010 election, MIYAKE and DOE defendants then arbitrarily and capriciously issued the second ZVN against Plaintiff so that she could "cc" it to the Prosecuting Attorney just before the new Planning Director (i.e., Dahilig - the former County Attorney who had concluded that MIYAKE had trespassed, engaged in an illegal search, and who had questioned whether Plaintiffs home had a second kitchen within the meaning of the Kaua'i CZO) took office.
Finally Miyake fingered "the Godfather" naming the then Council Chair as the one at whose behest she was acting when she issued the violation notice- an action on Asing's part that, if true, would be a violation of the County Code of Ethics and punishable by fines and even jail time described in the county charter.
Mr. Kaipo Asing was the Chair or the County Council at the time the revised ZVN was issued to BYNUM.
After MIYAKE told Delaplane about the advice she had received from deputy county attorneys JUNG and DAHILIG, (regarding trespass, illegal search and the definition of kitchen) and in response to further taped questioning by Delaplane, MIYAKE stated that she and PLANNING director Ian Costa issued the ZCN in November 2010: "Because Kaipo wanted it. Kaipo was asking. And I gotta answer to the Council Chair."
In fact, Defendant MIYAKE had no obligation as a Planning Inspector to "answer" to the Council Chair as to who was charged with zoning violations by the Planning Department. To the extent that MIYAKE based her decision-making as a Planning Inspector on the malicious political wishes of the Kaua'i County Council Chair at the time, her decision to issue the ZVN was arbitrary, capricious and malicious.
The November 2010 ZVN was not a valid ZVN based on admissible evidence of an actual zoning violation, but rather was a uniquely altered document that had no legal effect, did not state probable cause, and simply alleged a "belief' that a violation "may" have existed.
The November 2010 ZVN was issued against legal advice of at least one deputy County Attorney and was instead issued for political reasons at the urging of then Kaua'i County Council chair - as established by MIYAKE's taped admissions to Delaplane.
Meanwhile, back at the OPA ranch Iseri was drunk with, among other things, power. And, she was just getting started. Her dominoes were set up, and it was finally time to knock them over
76. Despite having learned that the two deputy county attorneys who were tasked with advising the PLANNING DEPARTMENT had already advised that there was no probable cause to believe that BYNUM had violated any zoning ordinance, and despite knowing that the alleged rice cooker and refrigerator were only discovered as a result of an illegal warrantless search, and although the November 10, 2010 ZVN did not allege probable cause to believe that either a civil or a criminal zoning violation had occurred - Defendant ISERI-CARVALHO waited approximately one year (until the next election-year cycle) and then filed four criminal zoning charges against BYNUM in the District Court for the 5th Judicial Circuit.
Two of the four alleged criminal acts were based on the alleged presence of a rice-cooker and a refrigerator approximately one year and a half years earlier, and the other two charges were based on the alleged presence of a lock on the door between the addition and the original house - even though Planning Director Costa had already informed Defendant ISERI-CARVALHO that there was no law governing which doors inside a private home could or could not have locks, and even though the subject lock was the same lock that existed at the time the addition was permitted and the certificate of occupancy issued, years earlier.
Oblivious to everything but getting Bynum, Iseri had set the seeds of her own demise because there was "no there there." No matter how hard they squint, when rational people look at a rice cooker none of them are going to see an installed stove.
There was no probable cause for Kaua'i Prosecuting Attorney ISERI-CARVALHO to charge BYNUM with any crimes based on the alleged presence of a rice cooker and refrigerator in his lawfully permitted addition.
ISERI-CARVALHO would not have charged BYNUM with a crime had the Planning Department and MIYAKE not sent an unsolicited copy of the November 2010 ZVN to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
Prior to charging BYNUM with four zoning crimes, ISERI-CARVALHO, or Delaplane, acting under her authority, had an investigator interview Victory YOKOTAKE about the BYNUM home. Although YOKOTAKE told the investigator that BYNUM was unaware of the rice-cooker in the addition and that she was welcome to use the BYNUM kitchen (such that she did not need a second kitchen) neither Delaplane nor ISERI-CARVALHO provided that investigator's report to BYNUM or his attorney while ISERI-CARVALHO was prosecuting him, despite written requests for exculpatory information and the constitutional requirement that such material must be provided to a criminal defendant.
During ISERI-CARVALHO' s investigation into whether BYNUM had committed misdemeanors in connection with the rice-cooker and door lock, deputy prosecuting attorney Jake Delaplane ordered Lucas Burns, another deputy prosecuting attorney, to interview Victory Yokotake, the pretext of the interview being that the interview was to assist with the prosecution of the earlier alleged assault against her, but with the real purpose of bolstering ISERI-CARVALHO'S case against BYNUM. The deputy prosecuting attorney was instructed to surreptitiously tape record the interview.
In April 2012, Lucas Burns testified about the unusually aggressive investigation technique involving misleading and surreptitiously recording a victim of an assault with the real intent of extracting from the assault victim, evidence against BYNUM's alleged zoning violations - having no real intent to bolster the assault case in any way.
Iseri had created quite the mess with "Rice Cooker Gate" stories circulating in "the blogs," as this and Joan Conrow's "KauaiEclectic" site are often cumulatively referred to in government circles.
But Iseri had other things to hide and when the budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year came around things blew up publicly despite her attempts to keep aspects of her department's budget under wraps... not to mention her almost wacky attempts to keep Bynum from questioning her during the yearly departmental budget review hearings.
From January 2012 until approximately May 2012, while the criminal zoning charges were pending against Plaintiff BYNUM, the Kaua'i County Council was simultaneously considering various matters related to the operations and budget of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
BYNUM had previously been a critic of many of Prosecuting Attorney ISERI-CARVALHO's decisions and he had planned to question ISERI-CARVALHO about her operations and budget as was relevant to the matters pending on the Kaua'i Council's agenda during these council meetings in early 2012.
Plaintiff BYNUM had constitutional rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Hawai'i State Constitution to speak about and debate, as an elected member of the Kaua'i County Council, the operations and budget of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney at official Kaua'i
County Council meetings.
However, on January 19, 2012, while the false criminal charges were pending against BYNUM, prosecuting attorney ISERI-CARVALHO wrote a letter to the entire Kaua'i County Council, on Office of the Prosecuting Attorney letterhead, demanding that BYNUM be recused from County Council meetings involving legislative oversight of the prosecutor's office, while the BYNUM's criminal case was pending.
ISERI-CARVALHO initially stamped this January 19, 2012 letter as "confidential" but later released it to the public and to the mass media and press, with some names redacted.
The January 19, 2012 letter to the Council contained various erroneous statements of law to support ISERI-CARVALHO's demand that BYNUM should be recused from legislative matters concerning the OPA.
Iseri had reached the point where she had lost all contact with reality, living in her own self-constructed World of Shay- aka the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. The letter read like the rantings of a lunatic. The only problem is that the lunatic in this case had- and still has, until at least December 1- the discretionary power to imprison people.
The January 19, 2012 letter also contained numerous statements that are disparaging of Mr. BYNUM's integrity including that "[Councilman BYNUM] has a clear financial interest in the operations of the OPA, as he would directly benefit if the OPA's operations were negatively impacted by any action of the Council. By virtue of being a criminal defendant, he has a vested interest in ensuring that the OPA not operate at peak efficiency" and "BYNUM's paranoid belief that the actions taken by our office were calculated personal attacks against him is without any merit and is completely baseless." ISERI-CARVALHO intentionally withheld from the public or the Council that the Director of the Planning Department had already "cleared" BYNUM of any violation or that BYNUM was innocent unless proven guilty.
90. When ISERI-CARVALHO demanded BYNUM's recusal on the basis that ISERI-CARVALHO had charged BYNUM in a criminal case that was premised on an illegal warrantless search, without probable cause, and on an interpretation of the CZO that was contrary to that stated by then Planning Director Costa and contrary to the advice of deputy county attorneys Jung and Dahilig, she was acting under the color of state law.
BYNUM had a clearly established constitutional and statutory right to fulfill his responsibilities as an elected councilman and to fully participate in 2012 Council hearings related to the operations and budget of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
ISERI-CARVALHO wrote the January 19, 2012 with the intent of denying BYNUM his rights guaranteed statutes and under the U.S. Constitution and the Hawai'i State Constitution.
ISERI-CARVALHO wrote the January 19,2012 under the color of her authority under state law as an elected public prosecutor.
94. ISERI-CARVALHO wrote the January 19, 2012 with the intent of silencing BYNUM in his capacity as an elected official with respect to the operations and budget of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
ISERI-CARVALHO's conduct, in writing and publishing the January 19, 2012 letter and her making her comments derogatory comments about BYNUM on the Council floor would have chilled or silenced a person of ordinary firmness from future First Amendment activities.
Fearful of the Prosecutor's unprincipled ire, and not wanting to risk violating the law related to recusal as it was presented to the Kaua'i County Council by the Prosecuting Attorney, BYMJM ceded to ISERI-CARVALHO's demand for his recusal from the January, 2012 County Council Meeting. Thereafter BYNUM solicited an opinion from the County of Kaua'i Board of Ethics, which later concluded, contrary to the legal assertions made by ISERICARVALHO to the Kaua'i County Council, that BYNUM did not have a conflict of interest such that he should not be recused from fulfilling his duties as an elected councilman with respect to questioning ISERI-CARVALHO, as would any other elected member of the Kaua'i County Council, with respect to the OPA operations and budget.
But it wasn't like Iseri didn't have a couple of loyal supporters on the council: members Mel Rapozo and Kipukai Kuali`i did their best to throw up smoke screens and throw down oil slicks to obscure, slow down and, they hoped, eliminate challenges to Iseri.
On March 14, 2012 and again on March 21, 2012 there was a Special Council meeting item involving the Prosecuting Attorney's request for Council permission to hire a Law Office Assistant. At the opening of the latter meeting ISERI-CARVALHO notified the Council, through counsel, that she would be asking questions of BYNUM before she would agree to testify before the Council. The proposed questions to councilman BYNUM included whether he would "waive [his] rights" and if [he was] aware that "statements that you make can be used against you in the criminal proceeding."
This March 14, 2012 questioning of BYNUM on behalf of ISERI-CARVALHO would have chilled or silenced a person of ordinary firmness from future First Amendment activities.
During these 2012 County Council meetings ISERI-CARVALHO repeatedly referred to the charges that her Office had filed against BYNUM as the primary basis for removing him from any legislative oversight of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. In none of these references did ISERI-CARVALHO reference any presumption of innocence or acknowledge the fact of Plaintiff s innocence as established by the legal opinions of deputy County Attorney's Jung and Dahilig.
In addition to the pressures Iseri was maliciously causing in Bynum's public life her actions made a mess of his personal financial affairs when he put his home up for sale.
While all of these matters were happening, BYNUM had listed his home for sale. In the spring of 2012, he entered into a contract for the sale of his home. The sale went into escrow. The buyers, however, became concerned that the house may not have been properly permitted after reading about the prosecution of BYNUM in the local newspaper. In response, the buyers went to the PLANNING DEPARTMENT and inquired whether there were problems with the permitting of the BYNUM property. The representative of the PLANNING DEPARTMENT wrongly and maliciously informed the buyers that the alleged zoning violations would run with the land and transfer to any new owners. The PLANNING DEPARTMENT employee then falsely informed the buyers that they would not be permitted to rent out any rooms in the residence if they bought the home. In response to these, and other false representations from the PLANNING DEPARTMENT, the buyers cancelled (sic) escrow. The house remains unsold. The loss of the sale of the home caused BYNUM to suffer significant financial damages to be proven at trial.
Finally Bynum had his day in court so a judge could ostensibly say to Iseri "what are you, nuckin futz?"
So Oye, Oye. All rise for the courtroom scene- Take One:
On April 5, 2012 a hearing was held in the Fifth Circuit Court, State of Hawai'i, after which the Honorable Kathleen N.A. Watanabe ordered that the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney was disqualified from further involvement in the criminal zoning case against BYNUM.
Thereafter, the State of Hawai'i Office of the Attorney General appointed a Special Deputy Attorney General to take over the case from the disqualified Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. The Special Deputy re-investigated the facts and circumstances related to the alleged zoning crimes and very rapidly concluded that there was no provable case against BYNUM.
The Circuit Court, with the agreement and written consent of the Special Deputy Attorney General, dismissed the entire criminal case against BYNUM with prejudice.
Thereafter, First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Delaplane, working under the authority of ISERI-CARVALHO told the local newspaper reporter that the dismissal did not equate to innocence.
Iseri is opposed by Deputy County Attorney Justin Kollar in the November 6 election.