Kitchen Grudge Match

SUBHEAD: Indications are it was Iseri-Carvalho who may have initiated the action against Tim Bynum as part of a grudge. By Andy Parx on 25 January 2012 for Parx News Daily - (http://parxnewsdaily.blogspot.com/2012/01/but-was-it-basmati-or-local-kine-sticky.html) Image above: From (http://kotaku.com/368302/arcade-flyer-art-saturday-grudge-match). Only on Kauai could we have a scandal that revolves around whether having a rice-cooker in the wrong room constitutes a zoning violation. That's because "Rice-cooker-gate" is a direct result of what happens when a dysfunctional planning department and an ego-maniacal prosecutor collude to "bring down" a councilmember. The matter- into which we've been delving for the past year or so- has finally spilled over into the local newspaper with an article yesterday that scratched the surface of the prosecution of Councilmember Tim Bynum by Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, after the release of various documents and a back and forth between Iseri and Bynum on the matter. Despite Iseri's denial of any ill-feeling between the two, the feud between her and Bynum goes back to their days together on the council when she and Councilmember Mel Rapozo were allies and sided with then-Chair Kaipo Asing in the infamous days when Bynum and Asing butted heads with all of them over Asing's paternalistic leadership of the council involving issues of process, staffing, introduction of measures and other issues. Iseri was then elected prosecuting attorney in 2008. According to a complaint form we've obtained dated 3/26/10 Bynum was alleged to have an "illegal dwelling multi family" unit at his home which is on agriculturally zoned land. The problem is that, under "Complainer/Requester" the form notes "*wants to remain anonymous!" (the asterisk and exclamation marks are written on the form) The complaint has two initializations, one for "inspector" and another for "assigned by" but who they actually are is not readily apparent. However what is known is that, according to Bynum's press release that followed an email from Iseri to current Council Chair Jay Furfaro sent just before last Wednesday's council meeting where Iseri appeared on a budgetary matter related to the Victim Witness program: Apparently, sometime prior to April 2010 a trespasser entered onto my property, looked into my windows and observed a rice cooker and a refrigerator in the family room. That someone is apparently Planning Inspector Sheilah Miyake who was CCed in a series of memos between Iseri and then Planning Director Ian Costa and has been identified by numerous reliable sources close to the investigation as being the "trespasser." On April 7, 2010, Iseri wrote to Costa:
We received information to corroborate an anonymous complaint dated March 2.6, 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 ill~gal given his land status, and what ordinance/statute would he be violating by doing so? Please advise. Costa wrote back, CCing Miyake, saying Sorry for delay Shaylene. 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 further assistance.
Despite Iseri's previous contention that actions on the complaint was initiated by the planning department alone, her memo indicates that now she says the complaint was sent to both planning and the prosecutor's office. She also seems to say that she and Miyake worked together to get the "rice cooker" information that was arguably obtained illegally via Miyake's trespassing. In a comment on our November 5, 2010 report on Bynum's denial of allgations, Iseri wrote"
Mr. Parx, Your statements are completely erroneous. I was never involved in the investigation of Tim Bynum's violations. The entire investigation was conducted by the Planning Department.
The memo seems to indicate that it was Iseri who initiated the action in conjunction with Miyake and without Director Costa's prior involvement. It also shows that Costa essentially confirms what people have been told at planning previous to this incident- that a "second kitchen" is what makes it illegal. And, as everyone is told, it is a stove that constituted what a "kitchen" was. But Iseri wasn't to be stopped by the prior definition of a kitchen by planning. Apparently when Miyake told her she saw a "rice cooker" on the counter when she sneaked onto Bynum's property without his permission- or even asking- Iseri saw her opening and decided that, despite what planning had said ever since the CZO was established in the early 70's, now any device- presumably even a toaster or coffee maker- is a "kitchen." The most hilarious part of all this is Iseri's continuing contention that there is no feud or even animosity between her and Bynum. Anyone who ever watched those council sessions where she butted heads with Bynum would have no doubt she despises Bynum. So as to who made the complaint? Well we can't say for sure but for some reason former Chair Kaipo Asing has taken an unusual interest in Bynum's cases, showing up to Bynum's court dates and last week's council meeting where, if Bynum had not recused himself, sparks between Iseri and Bynum would surely have flown. Was it Asing? Was it Iseri's ally Mel Rapozo whose animosity toward Bynum is thinly, if at all, disguised? Some seem to think the latter is the case but so far Rapozo's name hasn't come up in any documents. The answer is apparently another question- does it really matter which of them it was? To think that there was no collusion in the matter would strain credulity. Another question is what will happen when these people are put under oath. We understand that new Planning Director Mike Dahilig is privy to the whole story and even if the others were thinking of perjuring themselves, his testimony would surely be straightforward, the thinking being that Dahilig, a former deputy county attorney, isn't going to lie under oath for anyone. A final question is why Iseri's office is even prosecuting the case and why she hasn't recused herself and her office by letting the state attorney general's office take it over. It would seem, given the history between Iseri and Bynum, recusal would be a no brainer. Also, Iseri's email was stamped with a big "Confidential" across the top and the original did not contain any redactions. But under the Sunshine law she has no apparent right to say an email to the council is confidential. All emails to councilmembers are considered public documents. We'll leave it there for today. To see the full texts of Iseri's letter asking for Bynum's recusal last Wednesday and Bynum's "press release" that followed this weekend see original article here.
[Author's note: It should be noted that there may be misprints in Iseri's email. First of all, names of those involved are redacted and second we had to use optical character recognition software to get it in "text" form. There may be redactions that are not noted so the sentences may seem disjointed. But you'll get the gist of it.] .

5 comments :

Andy Parx said...

Note- I did NOT say SIC inititated the case, only that she denied any involvment in the investigation when the emails show that to be a lie. She well may have but the original complaintant but so could any one of a number of people, including, as I speculated, Kaipo Asing.
Andy Parx
P.S. The first two words in the article (left off here) are "Only on" (Kaua`i)

Anonymous said...

Well, the way this is written is certainly an accusation. A lot of shibai and speculation that comes real close to slanderous.
In fact, in your blog piece, you really didnʻt present anything that could remotely be considered evidence or suspicion with respect to your ʻaccusationʻ.
Kind of a witch hunt if you ask me. Could do with a little less of this kind of thing.
So I could say, it appears that your blog piece has been "secretly initiated" by Tim Bynum because he does have that kind of petty vindictiveness about him.
Please note: I am in no way associated with the county/Shaylene/etc. in fact I am most often on the other end of the county wrath.
But on this one, it is not fair commentary on Shaylene as to what has transpired to date.

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Andy & Anonymous,

Thanks for the corrections Andy. Sorry I'm so sloppy as a "journalist". As to who is at fault here... nothing would surprise me. That's why the illustrarion of the article is what it is. They are all gangsters as far as I'm concerned.

Juan Wilson
IB Publisher

Andy Parx said...

Even though "news" is presented in the article it is intended as news analysis. It's not presented in a "news story" format. Speculation is a necessary component of analysis.

There's nothing inherently wrong with speculation "anonymous," as long as it is labeled as such. The speculation in the article is well identified as such, as are the documents which are posted in full so any "out of context" charge is avoided. And the time-line inspired conclusion I cited above is based on documentation. In any investigation speculation is a necessary component to furtherance of it and if I had not speculated it would have left people to read the piece with the document-based innuendo but without any contest. That is what most of my speculation is intended for- context.

Feel free to speculate yourself. I'm fairly certain there will be further testimony- preferably sworn and earlier rather than later- and documents and we'll see what's what in time.

Anonymous said...

I dunno
She told Andy via a comment that she was not involved.
Then he finds an email that shows exactly the contrary.
Sounds like a lie to me.
And followed by a veiled threat of slander, well isn't that just typical?

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