By Andy Parx on 22 February 2012 for Parx News Daily -
Image above: Still frame from movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" mashed by Juan Wilson. From (http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html).
Dave: Open the pod bay doors, Hal.He has no key, no badge, no gun... no office. Yet, according to sources close to the Kaua`i Police Department (KPD) Police Chief Darryl Perry is back on the job today although his whereabouts inside police headquarters at any given moment is anybody's guess. It all started late yesterday when Perry told the TV's Hawai`i News Now (HNN) that he was returning to work today based on unanimous instructions from the police commission Friday, despite a county attorney's opinion that reportedly gives Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. the authority to determine Perry's status after Perry was placed on leave on February 2. But this morning HNN reported that:
Hal: I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave: What's the problem?
Hal: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave: What're you talking about, Hal?
Hal: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry was turned away from his office when he tried to return to work Wednesday morning in a power struggle with Mayor Bernard Carvalho. Perry told a Hawaii News Now news crew that he was not allowed to receive his gun and badge and get access to his office Wednesday at police headquarters in Lihue just before 8 a.m.
"I ordered Assistant Chief Mark Begley to open my office and reissue my equipment. He stated to me that under direct orders from the mayor and the county attorney, that he is not to do that," Perry said in an interview at police headquarters. "The police commissioners have expressed their opinion and also directed the issuance of equipment and my ID card and everything else that comes with it, my weapons. But they have refused," Perry said. "Right now, I'm actually on duty, but I don't have any equipment with me. I can't get in to my office. I don't have access to my computer," he added.As of press time we have learned Perry is still "at work" although still locked out of his office This morning at 9:29:16 a.m. Carvalho's Director Of Communications Beth Tokioka issued a "Statement by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. Regarding The Kaua`i Police Department," in which Carvalho claims that it was initially Perry's idea to be placed on leave and Carvalho initially disagreed. In the release Carvalho tells the following story for the first time:
“First of all, I would like to state that it is still my belief, based on advice from legal counsel, that I have the authority to supervise the daily activities of the Chief and that I have acted within my authority for all actions taken regarding this matter. The members of the Police Commission have been advised of this as well.
“As you know, on February 2, I made an announcement that the Chief of Police had been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation of the complaint in question. I want to make it absolutely clear that this action was taken upon the request of the Chief. Initially, when the Chief made this request on January 30, I felt that there was no need to place him on leave and that he could continue to lead the department under certain conditions that would preserve the integrity of the compliant investigation.
After I advised the Chief that I would not be placing him on leave, he sent an email to the Police Commission on that same day – January 30 - asking them to pressure me into placing him on leave. I am providing you with a copy of that email so that you can see how emphatically he felt about being placed on leave. “After further discussions on January 31 and February 1, it was determined that the Chief’s concerns had merit, and that an appropriate course of action would be to place him on leave until the complaint was properly addressed.
There has been public speculation and statements regarding the type of leave the Chief was placed on. Because this is a personnel matter, I will release no details on that aspect of this matter. “On Sunday, February 19, I was informed by Police Commission Chair Ernie Kanekoa that the Commission wanted the Chief to return to the job as soon as possible. I listened to his reasons and, although the Chief had previously made a strong case for why he should be placed on leave in the best interests of all involved, I was willing to talk to the Chief and better understand the reasons for his change of heart.
I asked that Ernie and the Chief be available to discuss this with me on Tuesday, February 21, at 3:00 pm. My intent was to determine if conditions could be agreed upon that would protect the interests of all involved in the complaint so that Chief Perry could return to work. “It is important to remember - above all else - that I have been served with a complaint that involves Chief Perry and other high-ranking officials in the department. It is my legal responsibility - which I take very seriously - to ensure that complaint is handled properly.
“Unfortunately, yesterday afternoon Ernie advised us that the Chief, on advice of his attorney, would not meet with us. This meeting was very important before we could even consider bringing the Chief back to work. In earlier discussions I've had with the Chief on this matter, he expressed deep concerns about protecting the integrity of the investigation, the department, County of Kaua`i, and his personal interest with respect to further risk and exposure to himself and his family if he were to continue working while the complaint was being investigated.
I had my own concerns for protecting the interests of all involved in the complaint. For those reasons, I feel it is very important to have a shared understanding of the terms under which the Chief could return to work while the complaint is being investigated. Unfortunately for all concerned, the Chief refused to meet and chose instead to communicate through the media.That is certainly a different story- in fact the opposite of the one told by Perry, who said he asked to be allowed to work from home but it was Carvalho who insisted he be placed on leave. Carvalho went on to state he was " disappointed in the way this has been handled over the past 24 hours," saying the department "is in capable hands" while reiterating that "the Charter gives me that authority and (I) have been advised as such by the County Attorney," and stating that "(t)he Chief even acknowledges this in his email of January 30." Perry's January 30 email seems to confirm Carvalho's narrative. It is addressed to individual police commission members, the mayor and some of his senior advisers and community supporters as well as some of the KPD brass. It reads, in full,
As you know, AC Quibilan and AC Asher were placed on administrative leave with pay at the closing of this business day pending the outcome of the investigations relating to hostile working environment complaints initiated by an officer.
Additionally, at this morning’s meeting I too was placed on notice by the Mayor for my involvement relating to the most recent complaint against AC Quibilan. In order to protect the integrity of the investigation, the department, County of Kauai, and personal interest with respect to further risk and exposure to myself and family,
I too was about to put myself on administrative leave with pay at the close of this business day. However, I was informed by KPD’s legal advisor, Justin Kollar, that I do not have the authority to do that. Therefore, I am requesting that this body contact the Mayor’s Office as soon as is practical to have my request approved without delay. In the interim, Deputy Chief Michael Contrades shall be the Acting Chief of Police and Assistant Chief Mark Begley will be the Acting Deputy Chief until further notice and/or modifications are made.
I will send a notification to All KPD at the end of the day and will be turning in my equipment immediately in accordance with policy and procedure. Because I will not have access to departmental communications systems, you may contact me directly via my cell phone 351-5004, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mahalo. Chief Perry Darryl D. Perry Chief of PoliceIn not immediately launching an investigation when Officer Darla Abbatiello-Higa filed an internal "hostile work environment" complaint against Perry's assistant chiefs, Roy Asher and Ale Quibilan, there's no doubt that Perry's actions were a violation of county policy which has the force of civil law according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rules.
That, according to sources familiar with the filing, is essentially what Abbatiello's January complaint- this time addressed to the mayor and police commission- said. It also, according to sources, complained that Perry indirectly tried to get the idea across that she might be jeopardizing her beloved work with youth and the Explorer Scouts if she didn't drop the October compliant. As to Perry, like "Charlie on the MTA" he may never go "home" and his fate is still unknown. He may walk forever though the halls of the cop shop, he's the chief who never (actually) returned.
Ea O Ka Aina: Mayor puts KPD brass on leave 2/3/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Mayor's Statement on KPD 2/22/12