HORSESH*T OF A DIFFERENT COLOR: Stumblebums, troglodytes and mental midgets- oh my.
Those are just some of the words that come to mind over Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.'s "Goo-goo-ga-joob" response to charges he had no authority to place Kaua`i Police Department (KPD) Chief Darryl Perry on leave yesterday- an action reportedly taken after Assistant Chief Roy Asher and Ale Quibilan were the subject of a "creating a hostile work environment" complaint from- guess who- Officer Darla Abbatiello-Higa.
"Creating a hostile work environment" has cost the county millions and these guys are apparently still at it.
"Un-freakin'-believable," as one former Kaua`i official repeatedly yelled into the phone last night.
Perhaps the best line we heard yesterday came from "KPD Blue" author Anthony Sommer who wrote, regarding Carvalho, "maybe he just wants to keep the tradition of 'every Kauai mayor gets to fire one police chief' alive."
But if Asher and Quibilan are Neanderthals, it pales in comparison to Carvalho's "I am the Eggman, They are the Eggmen, I am the Walrus" statement that somehow the county charter gives him the right to place Chief Perry on leave.
Though he cites charter section 7.05, that section has 13 different provisions in it. But assuming the first one is the one to which he refers, it plainly begins with the phrase "unless otherwise provided" which, although Carvalho and real mayor Beth Tokioka disingenuously and conveniently chose not to read this part, means that the operable section, 11.04 supersedes 7.05(A). That's the section that says the police commission is the body empowered to hire and fire the chief and therefore apparently to whom he is responsible.
But not only is Carvalho tone deaf to the limits of his own authority, he apparently hasn't read the sunshine law either.
In his "statement" he explained that he contacted the chair and vice chair of the police commission and apparently discussed the matter with them. Since the mayor sits as a non-voting "ex-officio" member of all boards and commissions, this is a blatant violation of prohibitions on more than two members of a board discussing matters that are before that board, outside of a duly agendaed meeting.
The matter is on the police commission's agenda for a special "executive session" meeting next Tuesday.
Oh- and one last thing. Though the county has been tight-lipped about the type of leave Perry and the two assistant chiefs have been forced to take, one report may indicate it's not just some routine, non-disciplinary type.
Today's pay-walled Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that "(a)ll three were ordered to turn in their equipment."
You don't take away an officer's- or especially a chief's- gun and badge without some serious wrong-doing behind the action.
Another question that comes up is why if, as reported, the complaint against Asher was filed last October 24, it did not show up on the October, November, December or January police commission meeting agendas. It just goes to show how seriously the county continues to take charges like this.
We haven't been directly privy to the information that apparently came from either Abbatiello-Higa or Perry or both but it certainly wouldn’t be being spread by almost every media outlet in the state unless the source was unimpeachably "close to Abbatiello-Higa" or "has direct knowledge of the investigation" as they have characterized their source.
But the real issue is that even after efforts by current Councilmember Tim Bynum and former Councilperson Lani Kawahara to put an end to the sexual harassment that pervades the county offices, it continues.
A letter from the two dated October 13, 2010 states that the county "has repeatedly failed to respond appropriately to allegations of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment."
Yet the Carvalho administration hasn't done a thing other than have a few "training sessions." Many of the harassers- even some of those that cost the county big bucks- are still on the job in positions that actually ARE under the direct supervision of the mayor. Funny how he's willing to butt in where he's apparently forbidden by law to do so but when it comes to his own hand-picked cronies it's a "hand-off" policy that pervades.
If we didn't know better, we might think there was some kind of corruption going on in the administration.