Shay's Sandbox

SUBHEAD: Shay turns the judiciary upside down with her politicized antics, potentially jeopardizing a murder trial.

By Joan Conrow on 30 October for Kauai Eclectic -

Image above: Shalene Carvalho speaks at candidate forum with Justin Kollar in background. From (

It was another high-powered day at the courthouse, with Judge Randal Valenciano ruling that Mayor Bernard Carvalho did indeed have the right to suspend Police Chief Darryl Perry earlier this year.

And Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho asked the Hawaii Supreme Court to remove Judge Kathleen Watanabe from the Darren Galas murder case, and sanction her for alleged improper conduct.

Ironically, the two events are linked. The mayor's action — taken in response to an officer who felt Perry had ignored her harassment complaints — had a profound domino effect. It drove a wedge between KPD brass, with two top officers still out on leave. It also caused a rift between the chief and deputy county attorney Justin Kollar, who is running for prosecutor. This led to Perry and Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho forming a political alliance.

One result of that alliance was last Friday's arrest of Galas in the highly publicized “Never Forget Sandy G” murder.

Now court documents are making it increasingly clear that Shay took extraordinary steps to get the Galas murder case to the Grand Jury before the election, and lied about Judge Watanabe to the state's highest court.

In her response to Shay's request for a writ of mandamus, which I reported on yesterday, Judge Watanabe says that Shay convened a grand jury session on Friday, without the court's prior approval. She also disputes many of the allegations that Shay and her first deputy, Jake Delaplane, made about the circumstances related to the Grand Jury's return. The state attorney general, representing the judge, argues Shay is not legally entitled to the writ.

Jonathan Chun, grand jury counsel, filed a declaration that backs up Judge Watanabe. He also outlines how Shay unilaterally decided to bring the grand jury in on Friday, and was repeatedly warned of time constraints by both the judge and jurors, but still pushed the proceedings too late.

Meanwhile, Shay stirred the pot further today, filing additional documents with the high court asking for Watanabe's recusal and claiming she and her staff had engaged in judicial misconduct.

The high court yesterday ordered Judge Watanabe to hold a hearing to receive the grand jury's return, but gave her two days to respond to Shay's request for the writ. Shay claims the judge used Monday afternoon's hearing to subject her to 15 minutes of “lambasting” in “retaliation” for filing the writ:
Judge Watanabe further called the integrity and veracity of the Prosecutor and her staff into question by suggesting that there were “misrepresentations and clear untruths” contained within the Petition for Writ of Mandamus, without detailing the substance or nature of these alleged lies or giving the Prosecutor an opportunity to respond. It appeared, from the repeated nature of Judge Watanabe’s attacks, that the purpose of the open session had transformed into a forum by which Judge Watanabe was attempting to harass, embarrass, and retaliate against the Prosecutor for filing the Petition for Writ of Mandamus.
Oh, poor little Shay-Shay. She turns the judiciary upside down with her highly-politicized, drama queen antics, potentially jeopardizing a murder trial, and then cries about getting scolded by the judge she's just burned. What, Shay, you didn't think you'd ever run into Kathleen again?

You'll love this, a classic case of Shay calling the kettle black:
Judge Watanabe’s statements were shocking, improper, and devoid of qualities that promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
Unbelievably, Shay also tries to make like Judge Watanabe revealed Galas as the subject of the grand jury investigation. Uh, Shay, what about those two press releases — one from you and an identical one from KPD — announcing Galas' arrest? Seems you should have held off on the publicity because it doesn't take a genius to figure out the guy in jail on $1 million dollar bail was the grand jury focus. Not to mention you made it pretty darn clear in your writ of mandamus, which is a public document available on line.

But Shay wants more than just to have the judge recused and sanctioned. She also wants the state Supreme Court to initiate an investigation into the supposedly improper comments that the judge's staff supposedly made to me in yesterday's post, and prohibit the judge and her staff from making any further statements.

One can only wonder what the Justices will be thinking as they read these documents and realize they've been sucked into Shay's sandbox. One can only hope that they will censor Shay and Jake for their unethical conduct in politicizing a murder trial and trying to discredit a highly reputable Circuit Court judge.

Or who knows. Now that Bernard clearly has the legal authority to suspend department heads, maybe he'll step in and remove Shay and Jake before they can do further damage. Wouldn't that be interesting.

Finally, I asked Chief Perry if he had a comment on the ruling, and he replied: “As you know, there is an appeal process so if you don't mind, I would like for the Police Commission to explore that avenue before commenting on the judge's decision."

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