County moves closer to selecting auditor

Contributed photo

Mel Rapozo

LIHUE — The County of Kauai and the County Council have begun the hiring process for a county auditor, according to one applicant, Mel Rapozo.

“As far as I know, they are going through the application process right now,” Rapozo said, adding that he has thrown his hat in the race.

The former County Council chair and mayoral candidate in 2018 had little else to say about the possibility of getting selected for the job.

The job is not listed on the current employment opportunities section of the county website due to a February application deadline, but Councilmember Felicia Cowden did confirm the council went into executive (closed) session regarding the possibility of the county hiring an auditor at their April 10 meeting.

According to the county’s website, the position of auditor was created to “provide better oversight on county spending and use of scarce county funds, enhance the checks and balances between the legislative and administrative branches of county government, and facilitate the conduct of the annual audit, operational and program audits, which provide cost and process improvements as well as conformity to government grant program reporting.”

The body’s agenda states the council went into executive session to discuss “the hiring of a county auditor, including interviewing any candidates, and terms and conditions of employment.”

Cowden and several other councilmembers said they are unable to discuss the closed session due to legal constraints on any topic discussed during the closed session and whether or not Rapozo faces potential conflicts of interest if he were indeed chosen for the position.

  1. ScareFunny April 29, 2019 4:08 am Reply

    This is some scare funny…
    a qualified individual applied for the position and he was notified that he wasn’t qualified and that the county of Kauai had a better qualified candidate. This all happened under the worst Public corruption Mayor Kauai or the state of Hawaii as ever seen. The wife of the candidate actually wrote a letter to the editor of The Garden Island news explaining how her husband was rejected for the positions. Check the facts.

    How many audits have Kauai failed? How many county employees were committing theft by fraudulent time/leave documentation? How many fraudulent overtime compensations were paid during the public corruption years of the former Mayor that is similar to the DLNR gps jammer case that’s going on right now? Too much Shibai in the Wild Wild West of Kauai and State of Hawaii.

    Melvin Rapozo as the county auditor? You couldn’t trust him with a dead body. In fact how did he serve a subpoena to a witness that ended up murdered by his own nephew. The nephew who was involved in the crime in which the murdered victim was to testify against. The said victim was robbed at gun point at the Safeway and Foodland shopping area in the middle of the day with a shot from a handgun being fired? This not only jeopardized the community but exposed a lot of judicial and public corruption. The PA at the time had close its with the murderer’s family and they all loved in the area where the murder took place. So they knew the area well and knew about the seclusion of the area and limited witnesses to the execution of the PA’s star witness. We don’t have to go into the street knowledge exposed that the PA was having an affair with… so there was NO CONFLICT of interest in the crime committed? Only those conspiring with the crime and committed the crime would say there’s no conflict and if they don’t know what “May” and “Shall” means and had to have a entire county council meeting several times to discuss the definition of those words, how do you believe that they have the integrity to balance a budget?

    Check the facts.

    Scared Funny things happen on Kauai for a reason.

  2. truth be known April 29, 2019 6:29 am Reply

    Just what Kauai needs, a fox guarding the hen house. We need an independent auditor, not one with close ties to the “good ‘ole boys” network. As a state auditor for over 30 years I know the necessity for hiring an effective auditor without ties to any administration. In my opinion, Kauai is in dire need of a full audit by a reputable CPA firm covering all aspects of County government. Once the discrepancies have been exposed, then an independent auditor could verify that the recommendations have, in fact, been implemented. Our Federal Government is a prime example of agencies run amuck with inadequate oversight. In fact, no one in the Federal Government can accurately account for the number of agencies therein. Administration without oversight is a recipe for corruption.

  3. I saw a Vampire once April 29, 2019 8:31 am Reply

    County auditor: this job has no pay. If it is important, someone else is doing it. Who is this guy?

  4. Fact-checker April 29, 2019 5:55 pm Reply

    Scarefunny : where are these alleged acts of corruption ? Stop spewing fake news .. the worst public corruption mayor in the state of Hawaii ? Wow that’s another reach , are you from Hawaii ? How many audits have the court failed ?Please share your findings? The silent majority will not be influenced by the loud minority that’s a fact!!!!!

  5. Lawaibob April 29, 2019 7:37 pm Reply

    You have to be kidding. Mel’s photo says “even I can’t believe they’d consider hiring me!”

  6. Jerek Young April 30, 2019 3:21 pm Reply

    Did Mel graduate with a degree in accounting? Did he previously work for a CPA firm? Did he pass the CPA exam? Does he have experience in the planning and execution of an audit? Honestly, I don’t think the elected officials want an auditor. Think of all the known skeletons in the closet that are currently ignored like overtime abuse and procurement card abuse. We need a qualified auditor – one with a backbone and one who is empowered to actually do his or her job.

  7. Native May 1, 2019 12:03 pm Reply

    To the contrary from all you transplants complaining about Mel….he IS the best person for this job. He has the experience and knowledge of the county budget and spending. The admin is afraid because Mel will uncover what they dont want to be scrutinized. He is just what this county needs.

  8. debra kekaualua May 1, 2019 5:28 pm Reply

    ScareFunny is 100% on-point! In fact, a couple true kauai story book publishings, author investigator bennish, The Fifth Seal, also before that, KPD Blue, or Superferry Chronicles. These are not conspiracy! absolutely true and written with the most integrity. i can attest to judiciary corruption, including most judges, lawyers, P.A., and kealoha for sure! There should be some FBI letters delivered to the good kauai ol boys past to present for starters, as well as u.s. militaropolitical illegal Occupation. FEMA barges dispatched to hawaii to remove the corrupted ti Alcatraz federal pen!

  9. Jerek Young May 2, 2019 6:05 pm Reply

    Native – Mel would be a good fit for a staff position but not as the lead auditor. He’s not qualified to be THE auditor. This is nothing against Mel. Analogy: someone works as an executive for Hawaiian airlines. He worked for Hawaiian airlines for 25 years starting as a baggage handler and knows the company inside and out. He KNOWS Hawaiian Airlines. Do you want them flying the plane? No pilot training or education. Mel was and can continue to be a voice for Kauai but he’s not the right fit to head the department.

  10. Native May 8, 2019 8:38 am Reply

    Jerek Young…..your analogy is way off base. Baggage handlers handle baggage. They know nothing about flying. As a council member and council chair for many years, Mel has reviewed and scrutinized budget after budget, from all departments within the county. He has both supported and opposed bills, proposals, and requests as he sees best for Kaua’i county. He has become very familiar with each department in the county. Mel is in a very unique situation that gives him a great advantage, having the first hand experience scrutinizing county budgets and being a night auditor for two hotels. He’s got the tools, the knowledge, and the experience. Handling baggage for many years gives you zero experience with flying a plane. Handling and scrutinizing budgets plus auditing for hotels gives you knowledge and experience of auditing.

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