• ‘Gas Gate’ should have been prosecuted, full story revealed • Dairy will drive tourists away
‘Gas Gate’ should have been prosecuted, full story revealed
The Garden Island reporter Tom LaVenture did a fine job of reporting the story about the settlement of the lawsuit by Ernie Pasion, our county auditor, against the county.
The full story on this case has never been told. And since the case was prematurely settled due to Mr. Pasion’s illness, it may never be told. Hopefully, this letter will shed more light on a very murky happening.
Had this case been litigated before a judge or jury, the real truth would have come out. And instead of Mr. Pasion getting a settlement that only paid for his lawyer’s fees, he would have probably gotten the much larger amount he deserved.
Mr. Pasion was an outstanding choice as our first county auditor. The eight audits he did showed gross negligence and incompetence in the way our county government is run. The financial savings we would gain by adhering to his recommendations would undoubtedly streamline our budget enough to stop increases in taxes and fees.
The only “mistake” that Mr. Pasion made was uncovering the (alleged) illegal use of a gas card by our mayor. And in this gas use audit as well as in all audits he and his staff did, no one individual was ever targeted for wrongdoing. The neutral people who were hired under contract to do these audits simply delved into the operations of those being audited and let the facts speak for themselves.
This “Gas Gate” audit pointed to a number of irregularities, the most serious the misuse of the gas card.
Mr. Pasion could have just disregarded this wrongdoing but learned from people like Marion Higa that he would be just as guilty as the person or persons committing the crime, so he had no choice.
Thus, due to his commitment to justice for the people and having to whistleblow, he had to suffer unjust mental and monetary damage.
So why has this total case against our mayor never been prosecuted? Our county prosecutor, our former attorney general and our former county attorney chose not to try to prove that wrongdoing had been done! Our Kauai Police Department certainly had proof, but when it was turned over to the above departments, it was dropped.
Although the illegal use of the gas card was not proved, the mayor said he took the Fifth when asked about the card. Hawaii Revised Statued 78-9 states that if any government employee takes the Fifth they shall immediately be dismissed from office and never again be hired for a government job.
We in the public have a right to know why there are two sets of rules — one for the public who would go to jail or be heavily fined and one for those in power who can find a way to kill the issue?
Dairy will drive tourists away
We are tourists, and are here for the 19th time. We have been coming to Poipu, each year lengthening our visit; this year we are here for 10 weeks with plans to stay next year for 11 weeks.
We have been following the news about the dairy farm that is being planned for on the nearby land. Needless to say we are concerned as we feel a part of this beautiful island after so many wonderful visits.
I know there is concern by many residents as well and I am stymied by how this continues to even be a consideration. It is appalling to us that this is still being debated. Where is the reasoning? This dairy farm will destroy such a special place and for no good reason, not for anyone but Grove Farm and perhaps officials with their own agenda.
We live on the shores of Lake Michigan in a tourist town. The Great Lakes is not without its problems but I am sure nothing like this would threaten us so close to home. We cherish our land and waters and do all that we can to protect them from danger. No conglomerate company would get away with anything like this. Our government would protect us and our environment. Where are your protectors? Are they working for you or Grove Farm?
We have already booked for next year but I cannot imagine coming here if this atrocity goes forth. I think you do care about the tourist trade but certainly your people and their health,the environment of the air, the water, the beaches and the reefs are of most importance. I doubt we will be back here if this plan goes forth. I can only imagine the smell, the flies and the concern of water contamination. There are other places to go … and we will go.
I hope the people who care will block this farm. If not, you will see the tourists disappear. But I grieve for all who live here and appear to have no voice. This is your land and your water, enough has been taken from you.
Please, someone, stop this insanity.
Patricia A. Boruta
Grand Haven, Michigan