Kaua‘i County Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. today announced today that, “as of this morning,” Police Chief Darryl Perry is back on the job. Perry, who was at the same news conference with the mayor, says he’s been on the job since the Kaua‘i County Police Commission returned him to work last month.
Who had the authority to do what about the police chief is still under discussion, the mayor, police chief and Kaua‘i County Police Commission Chair Ernest Kanekoa Jr. said in answer to questions at the news conference.
“We stand here today, side by side,” the mayor said, and later added, “If it is going to court, so be it.” The three men shook hands and hugged briefly following their initial statements before questions.
What today’s announcement means for Perry is that he will regain access to his equipment, including his gun and computer, and his office. Perry has been working from home and in other offices at the police department since the Police Commission ordered him back to work last month — even as the mayor was maintaining that Perry was still on leave.
The mayor first suspended the police chief and then placed him on paid leave in connection with an employee complaint the mayor and chief have declined to discuss, saying the issue is under investigation. Two assistant chiefs remain on leave in connection with the matter.
“While I still firmly believe that I have the authority to take the actions that resulted in the chief being placed on leave, I also believe that through discussion with the commission, we have reached a place of consensus on how the department should be managed beginning today,” the mayor said.
The mayor thanked the police department’s interim leadership “and all the men and women of the Kaua‘i Police Department for their hard work over this past month. You have provided stability and continuity throughout a challenging, challenging period of time.”