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.

Monday, September 3, 2012


SAY NO MORE; I CAN SAY NO MORE: Incomprehensible.

The word can apply to any number of things - if not most anything- when it comes to government and politics on Kaua`i. Usually it can be used to describe the account of council meetings when the local newspaper's Leo Azumbuja sets digit to keyboard.

But in the case of his Thursday account of Wednesday's Committee of the Whole meeting- one held to "fix" an imbalance in the county's budget- one can give poor Leo a pass because his unintelligible account was only slightly more unintelligible than the meeting itself.

Don't bother to watch the meeting in order to try and find out what happened to cause the council to give preliminary approval to bills 2241 and 2242 in an attempt to rectify the fact that the county's budget apparently isn't balanced- or for that matter in order to figure out why no one knew it wasn't balanced until well after it was passed- or for that matter how much is- or isn't- "missing," depending on who you ask.

All the words were there- spoken at the meeting and dutifully reported by Azumbuja: "encumbrances"... "a million dollars"... "capital improvement"... "administration"... "adolescent drug treatment center"... "budget deliberation process." It's just that neither watching nor reading put them in any sensible and coherent order so as to tell the story of what the heck was going on.

It took a few days and talking to a few sources close to county government to figure out the whole story but here's what the whole meshugaas was apparently about.

Seems that the long anticipated and even longer delayed adolescent drug treatment center was funded (again) as part of the county's recent bond float. But actually locating and designing the facility has been a political football that was one of those "now you see it now you don't" items in this year's capital improvement project (CIP) budget.

A couple-or-few years back when Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. finally (again) "told" the community where it was to be located, those in the Lihu`e residential area of Isenburg Tract- a predominantly Japanese neighborhood named for a German family that was voted off the island after World War 1- didn't take too kindly to the announcement and took a decidedly NIMBY attitude toward it.

So to oversimplify a long story and make it short on top of that, when this year's budget was on the table, the council either (depending on who you talk to) told the mayor, or wrote it in the budget document that the mayor couldn't actually "encumber" the money until the council actually saw the plans for the center including a buy-in by the Isenberg residents.

Encumbering the money is a process whereby the actual dollars are, for lack of a better word, reserved for the specific project by the administration. At that point, it is, for all intents and purposes, considered spent.

And apparently that's exactly what the mayor did- encumber a half a million dollars for "phase one" of the project which included sighting and design.

So even though the council had told him not to do anything until hizzonah came back to them with "da plan"- and that meant before he encumbered the money- he decided to do it anyway. In other words even though the money was in the bond fund, it wasn't in the budget to be "encumbered" in the first place.

It's hard to say what the legality of all this is. County Attorney Al Castillo refused to say anything in open session even though Council Chair Jay Furfaro swore up and down the charter that nothing illegal happened- that even though the county charter says the budget must be balanced and quite obviously this year's budget wasn't. And even though the mayor "spent" the money that wasn't there. And even though during a recent debate current Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene "Go to your homes- nothing to see here" Iseri-Carvalho- who is running what looks like a losing battle for re-election- has sworn she will prosecute a million dollar theft of county money.

Castillo also warned the council not to talk about the adolescent drug treatment center because somehow it wasn't "on the agenda."

Supposedly the two bills will put the money where it belongs and everyone will live happily ever after.

According to the newspaper article the mayor's mouthpiece, Beth Tokioka, has seemingly blamed the council saying “(t)he imbalance was caused in part by errors in Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s March 15 initial and May 8 supplemental budget submission, which were not detected and addressed during the budget deliberation process.”

No one particularly wants anything to be perfectly clear because this is an election year and each councilmember's political ass is on the musical chairs line- one that's due to leave two people without seats when the music stops on November 6.

They're just lucky to have Azambuja on the job to make sure that the lack of any clarity and acumen at the meeting was reported with Leo's usual lack of grasp of the matter at hand.

Don't ya just love this town?