Pass a resolution telling Brun to step down

The “Our View” editorial is short-sighted. The thrust of the column is that nothing can be done since no legal provisions exist in the charter to address the Brun calamity that our island is tarred with. “The law is the law.” That is short-sighted. Elected officials do not give up their common sense when they took office. Let me illustrate.

As a judge I presided over many criminal cases. Some of the most common cases was bail setting for the accused. Before trail the law is: the accused is entitled to bail out of jail. In Santa Clara county judges had two methods: Release from custody on a promise to return (OR) or set bail.

In the jury box ten feet in front of me stood a young man. He weaved slightly, his eyes appeared glassy, and he was very agitated. His attorney requested OR. He had no bail money. I looked at the charges. They all reflected drug use or possession. I thought him a danger to himself and someone in the community. I said, “OR Denied.” He seized the railing and began to climb over to attack me.

Once courtroom control was re-established, I ordered him held and for his parents to be notified to pick him up. They came and he was released by the time he had sobered up.

This is not the end of the story. Days later, a grateful young man and his parents asked me to perform his wedding. I still remember standing by the living room fireplace and putting the man and his woman together. There was happiness in the faces of the family and friends. There were promises to be responsible in the future. I made no request for money. My reward was the belief that I might have saved a young man and protected the community.

My point is that “the law is the law” yes, but there is something called common sense. Find a way to help the man get better, protect the community, and act within the law.

I can tell you more stories, but that is not my purpose. I am disturbed that those in authority are doing nothing to set an example for our community as to what right conduct is for elected officials.

Councilman Mason Chock got it right. Pass a resolution telling Brun to step down. Apply peer pressure. Remind Brun as well as all who seek office, they take an oath to “support and the defend the Constitution.” It may be too late for the indicted councilman but it sends a clear message: “We, your elected officials will not tolerate the breaking of the oath.”

There is more. Remove him from all committees and any other discretionary duties. Order County Counsel to immediately draft an amendment to the Charter regarding public officers charged with misdemeanors and felonies. I could suggest the wording, but that’s not my responsibility. Order County Counsel to draft a petition of impeachment for the public to sign and/or create a committee to do so.

There is more that our elected officials can do, but I trust you get the idea. Send a message: “We do not approve of criminal behavior by our public officials. We will reestablish public confidence in our government. We will show the greater world outside of Kauai that we are not a “Wild West Community.”

It may be too late to change Councilman Brun. Although I can tell you stories of how hardened felons can be changed by stern disapproval. A former criminal living on our island has thanked me for my warnings and “giving him one more chance.” His conversion into being a model citizen brings tears to my eyes. My point is: express disapproval and condemnation of wrongful acts. It may not help Brun, but it will tell the community and others who seek public office: remember your oath and model your conduct so it does not bring discredit on yourself and our community.

I love our island. I want to help our community and especially young people grow and be good citizens. Pubic officials must lead by example and be pono. Do what is righteous. For me, saying “we no can do da kine” is not an option.

•••

William Fernandez, Judge retired, Kapaa

11 Comments
  1. Sheeples March 3, 2020 6:37 am Reply

    All great points, but why should he step down? The mayor and others probably all have backroom deals that skirt the ethics and laws most of us assume are in place. This may well rise above that threshold, but they the man go to trial, then retroactively recover his pay when you know all the facts.

    This guy get’s in a lot if trouble for poisoning the island with drugs, but don’t forget that he was installed by the same gmo chemical companies that are killing us and many around the world. I would need meth to
    Justify even showing up to work for these evil men poisoning paradise.


  2. mina March 3, 2020 7:43 am Reply

    Zero trust in the Kauai County Council. Zero trust in all members for failing to act or even express concerns about Mr. Brun. Zero trust in local government from this point forward.


  3. Steve Martin March 3, 2020 7:58 am Reply

    Great letter Judge Fernandez…… Next to Mr. Brun, we can hope Ross Kagawa will read your letter, but I’m sure it will go in one ear and right out the other. With what you are saying we could have impeached and removed Kagawas fowl predjudice mouth, racists comments,and the forward actions to private citizens.


  4. jake March 3, 2020 8:13 am Reply

    We’re forgetting that Brun was elected by and supported by the Kauai voter. How do you keep a criminal out of office, when the voters themselves want a criminal in there?


    1. Kauaidoug March 4, 2020 8:09 am Reply

      This is the exact problem relating to not only Brun but to Trump as well. Everyone knew he was a crook, woman grabbing narcissist and he has proven himself to be just that.


    2. LMat March 4, 2020 9:57 am Reply

      Jake, what’s your deal? You’ve obviously got a chip on your shoulder regarding locals or local culture or the fact that you’re a transplant…? Nobody wanted a “criminal in office”. EVERYONE, at this point, wants him out. But when he ran for office, all outward appearances, that is, what the public could see and discern, spoke of sincerity and a real desire to help the community. He had been involved with community outreach and service for a while already. He was a family man that many people knew well. He spoke openly about his past and his then actions and appearances seemed to indicate rehabilitation. Obviously he fell off track. FAR off track. None of that is the public’s fault. I just don’t see how you can logically blame Kauai voters for his transgressions, or try to insinuate that we’re all ok with it. Pretty ridiculous actually, and obviously points to some other issue or grudge you have with local people…


  5. Makani B. Howard March 3, 2020 9:37 am Reply

    Yes! Pass a law and get it done.

    This guy is band news.


  6. Rev Dr. Malama March 3, 2020 10:31 am Reply

    I agree with one thing that you said Your Honor….. this is not your job!
    We must have faith and trust in the judicial system to convince the public that the person of interest is guilty without a reasonable doubt first!
    It is akamai to have conversations about changing the County Charter etc… but premature to demand anything until due process is fully completed.
    The laws of the land do still derive from common sense, hence COMMON LAW MUST APPLY.
    MAHALO


  7. zack March 3, 2020 10:41 am Reply

    The entire county council needs to go. Remaining motionless about Brun’s behavior speaks volumes about the rest of you. I have no confidence whatsoever in any of you now. You’ve left us all with the impression that you’re a closed session old-boy network that’s probably involved in other criminal activity.


  8. Charlie Chimknee March 3, 2020 10:02 pm Reply

    Kaua’i County Council:

    1.) Works incredibly hard studying every topic, ordinance, law, issue, from every viewpoint before they vote in favor of the citizens, or they dismiss it if not in favor of the people of Kaua’i.

    2.) They do their due diligence even in the face of the most boring or ridiculous testimony they have to listen to over and over and over.

    3.) Ross Kagawa is a fighter for the people reaching out for every reasonable one of us and even the smallest person when it comes to lack of power or money. Kagawa is Akamai, we are lucky to have him…he speaks his mind with truth with no double talk…we hope he runs again after a vacation from the Council he deserves a break, and we need him back.

    4.) As the Judge Fernández said about whose job it is to discipline or remove Mr. Brun in this sad time of his life…it is not the Council’s job. The Council has no training and experience (thank God for that) in removing those from Council who are charged with crime, even evil crimes, as his own tapped phone has shown us. Our County Council is neither Judge nor Jury.

    5.) The Council must use its every minute and strength to represent and protect us and not waste time bothering with putting Mr. Brun aside, the Court will surely do that.

    6.) as the Judge said there are are many, even on Kauai who slid into hell, and all who have done it must be given encouragement to rebuild their life and shine by hard work and example for youth who some slip further and further down hill every day and way with substance abuse, disrespect, no self pride, and no job of honor.

    7.) Mr. Brun has a long row to hoe to get back into and be respected by society. Yes his alleged involvement in large amounts of drugs points at his also destroying some of our youth even our high schoolers, a shame that should last for ever in his own mind and the will to also never be a stupid jerk again but instead he should spend 15 hours a day 7 days a week working to make up for his stupid lifestyle and he should influence his co-defendants to go same straight into hard work for their, for our, community…do any of these defendants have children…long road to make them proud of their parents as drug people…and for you shameful allies of them out there, same to you. Dump that crap and live a hard working life.

    8.) the council has no singular or group say about this…it is now up to a Federal Judge and Jury.

    Brun you are a tough guy along with at least some of your gang, so be tough Enough to straighten out and become only good in the life you have left. Many love you, but now you owe…start the payback in your mind with the resolve that Arthur Brun can change, will, must, because tough Can be used for purposes of good.

    Make the best of your up coming journey. We wish you better than those who suffered from those drugs…

    Council, put your heads together and keep serving us…ignore Brun, his path is set for some time…Council we need you just the way you are…Ross, Mahalo Nui Loa., you’re the Man…!

    Your people…! ! !


  9. james March 4, 2020 7:06 am Reply

    “Order County Counsel to immediately draft an amendment to the Charter regarding public officers charged with misdemeanors and felonies. I could suggest the wording, but that’s not my responsibility. Order County Counsel to draft a petition of impeachment for the public to sign and/or create a committee to do so.” Judge, any idea on how difficult it is to pass a Charter Amendment? It takes time and a vote of the constituency. Who knows how soon that could happen? As to a petition of impeachment, I think you are talking about a Charter Amendment because there is no mechanism for the voting public to impeach a Council member. I agree Brun has to go, but the County has been very short-sighted by not providing a way to get rid of errant Council members.


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