Letters for Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Elected officials shouldn’t get paid during shutdown

Now that our government is officially shut down, thousands of government workers will not be getting paychecks. Isn’t it curious that our senators and representatives will continue to be paid? It’s only fair and logical that they, too should not be paid during this shutdown. Philosophically, the president should also not receive a paycheck, but he doesn’t.

Michael Diamant, Koloa

Why no criminal prosecution for DLNR official?

TGI ran a story on Dec. 20 about a DLNR official who committed fraud, took kickbacks and stole taxpayer monies.

First, why are we just reading about this now after a settlement has been reached with the ethics committee? No one at TGI was aware of any investigation or pending action? This is a huge local news story!

Secondly, why isn’t he being prosecuted? Why aren’t his co-conspirator(s) being prosecuted? Where is the investigative journalism about this story from the paper? What is the state’s DA’s office doing about this?

We need transparency and follow-up on serious criminal matters that involve our local government. It feels like this is being swept under the rug. I think maybe it’s time for the FBI to start an investigation.

Wally Wedge, Kalaheo

9 Comments
  1. I saw a Vampire once December 26, 2018 7:22 am Reply

    What do you mean government shut down? You don’t get paid just getting elected. It is a day job. So just because they’re voted in, the day job doesn’t correspond to their meetings. They are wasting time with their meetings. It amounts to nothing. The real job is still there though.


  2. kauaiboy December 26, 2018 7:33 am Reply

    Agree.

    Both letters.


  3. ruthann jones December 26, 2018 8:00 am Reply

    Oh yes, #45 DOES get a paycheck…just not the measly $250,000 a year…..he makes his money from the Russians, Saudis, you name it. chee-ching!


  4. CoverUpKauai December 26, 2018 3:41 pm Reply

    So many cover ups on kauai that it’s insane that the people have any trust in public officials and the judicial system.

    When will the people wake up and do something?

    When will the Feds actually go after Kauai’s multinational criminal organization like they’ve done on Oahu?


  5. Pointfisha December 26, 2018 4:59 pm Reply

    Wally,

    Are you talking about the TGI story recounting a bureaucrat’s resignation because he short-cut the red-tape and streamlined a local government process using his knowledge of local contractors?

    Funny how people complain about government redundancy, slow speed of work and wasteful process and then light torches and pick up pitchforks in defense of those same bloated ways.

    But then again, Wally, you want to shortcut the red tape of the justice process, don’t you? You want to declare that people “committed fraud” “took kickbacks” and “stole” – Oh, and THEN launch an investigation.

    But first, Wally, you want to declare that these are “serious criminal” matters, even while you vent your outrage that you haven’t been informed and know nothing about the situation, yet.

    Maybe the DLNR is wary about sharing info because they know that there are folks like you in the community who are ready to jump all on fire in self-proclaimed ignorance after reading one article.

    Ya’ think, maybe??


    1. kauaiboy December 27, 2018 7:05 am Reply

      Pointfisha- If the DLNR is reluctant to share ethics violation information with the public, we are in trouble as a community.The investigation was launched and Borden admitted malfeasance. The way he conducted himself was self-serving, and unbecoming of a public official. He should be prosecuted for his acts.

      How in the world can you defend a man who “streamlined a local government process using his knowledge of local contractors?” In other words, a man who provided inflated-pay work to those why rubbed his back in return? Get real. There is a contract bidding process for a reason. To save taxpayers $.

      Makes you wonder what interest you have in defending the “insider” method of doing government work here on Kauai? Could you be Aaron Hoff or Manual Andrade or Kathy Rosare? Or do you benefit some other way from the likes of Borden?

      A public servant should serve the public and not himself.


    2. wally wedge December 27, 2018 7:20 am Reply

      Pointfisha:
      Here is the first paragraph from the TGI from the story I referred to from 12/20/18:

      “The Kauai district manager for the Department of Natural Resources’ boating division resigned last week after an investigation revealed he falsified documents in order to award dozens of government contracts to businesses run by his friend, according to documents released Tuesday by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission.”

      Falsifying official documents to award contracts to friends by a government official certainly qualifies as criminal behavior in anyone’s book, wouldn’t you agree? The article further states:

      “Kauai Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation District Manager Joseph Borden also admitted to accepting gifts from people who he was in charge of issuing permits and contracts to, using government funds to pay for first-class airline tickets, ordering his subordinates to falsify documents and making use of various government resources to benefit himself personally, according to a settlement reached with the commission on Dec. 14.”

      So fraud, theft of public funds, and graft by Borden, a public official, which he admits by the way as a term of the settlement, all of which are criminally prosecuable offenses and serious ones at that. So why no prosecution and why wasn’t there any news about the investigation before the settlement was reached? We need more transparency in local government and more aggressive reporting by the local media.


    3. Sue December 27, 2018 9:03 am Reply

      Hey Pointfisha: I think the FBI should look into your doings! Bypass the red tape? Bwahaahaa! It’s there for a reason! If you go around it, it is illegal! Sounds like you are part of the gang of guys you either receives kickbacks, or you are a contractor.


  6. Debra Kekaualua December 26, 2018 7:02 pm Reply

    DLNR and all the corporate moguls receive a get outa jail free card with our two-tiered judiciary system, one is strictly for the arrogant and one that criminalizes the innocent.


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