KPD Chief Raybuck faces discrimination charges

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i Police Department Chief Todd Raybuck violated policies against discrimination and created a hostile work environment for an officer based on race, as found by a Kaua‘i Police Commission investigation.

The actions, including “squinting of the eyes and bowing of the head up and down” and mimicking a Japanese accent while telling stories, violated county code and are cause for “appropriate corrective action,” according to a Feb. 26 document obtained by The Garden Island written by commission Chair Catherine Adams.

“Given the findings regarding violation of the Policy Against Discrimination, the Commission will take appropriate corrective action to assure that future violations do not occur,” Adams wrote in February. “The details of the corrective action are confidential personnel matters.”

The commission received an internal complaint against Raybuck in September 2020 alleging violations of civil-service laws and rules as well as violating the county’s discrimination code. The item, ES-2020-021, was the only agenda item on a special executive session Tuesday.

The agenda stated the meeting would start “at 2:00 p.m. or shortly thereafter.” However, the meeting started at 1:45 p.m., according to a county spokesperson. This open session, when the meeting was publicly called to order, roll call was taken, announcements made and a call for public testimony was finished prior to the stated 2 p.m. start time.

The commission came back from the executive session around 2:50 p.m., unanimously ratifying the actions made in the executive session, which were not stated for the public.

The internal complaint submitted last September was split into a human-resources investigation into a promotional recruitment and selection process, and another focused on discrimination allegations through the commission.

The commission investigation concluded two incidents last year, one on July 29 and the other on Nov. 13, violated Section II of the Policy Against Discrimination, according to Adams’ Feb. 26 letter. Other incidents, including favoritism and non-selection for promotion in retaliation, were not corroborated by the investigation.

In audio recordings that were submitted as evidence for the sustained complaint obtained by The Garden Island, Raybuck is heard making broad stereotypes about the Japanese. These comments, according to the complaint, were said during a July meeting in which Raybuck was explaining why an employee of Japanese descent was not chosen for a promotion.

“So, somebody in the Japanese culture, if they think your idea is absolutely stupid and the dumbest thing they’ve ever heard, what’s their typical response to you?” Raybuck asks rhetorically. “‘Yes, yes, yes.’”

These comments, the complaint alleges, were paired with squinting and bowing.

“During this meeting, he talked to me about the Japanese culture, which including mocking the way Japanese people look by squinting his eyes, nodding his head and saying ‘yes,’ ‘yes,’ ‘yes,’ with a very-bad Chinese accent,” the complaint reads.

“I felt very offended and humiliated by his stereotypical comments and actions. I felt that he was telling me this as a reason I wasn’t selected because he believes all Japanese people don’t tell you the truth.”

Raybuck, in the recording, continues to say, “That’s why Western businessmen, when they go to Japan, freaking go home and they think ‘Man, I got it! I got the deal!’ and then it doesn’t come through because the Japanese people don’t want to hurt their feelings.

“Japanese businessmen aren’t going to go, ‘That’s is the dumbest idea we’ve ever heard, not interested.”

Raybuck was not available for comment Tuesday.

In a letter dated Feb. 26 from county Director of Human Resources Annette Anderson, an independent review panel convened to do a separate review of recruitment material for an assistant chief position. The panel’s top-ranked candidate was Raybuck’s selection, “supporting the Chief’s selection,” Anderson writes.

“Although the promotional selection process did have irregularities, given the results from the independent panel, the evidence established that more likely than not the selection of the successful candidate was fair, objective and practical, and not in violation of the civil-service laws or rules,” Anderson wrote.

In another incident on Nov. 13, Raybuck met with command staff and told a story about an Asian customer in a fast-food restaurant. This story was told with “facial gestures and accent, and commented on an employee’s haircut as something out of a Kung Fu movie,” according to Adams’s letter.

According to the complaint, “Chief laughed and thought it was funny when he demonstrated this to us.”

This event was also found to violate the county’s policy against discrimination, according to Adams.

Follow-up questions regarding the executive session sent to the Office of the Mayor were referred to Adams, who did not respond prior to print.

The Office of the County Attorney also would not respond to specific questions Monday or Tuesday.

•••

Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

39 Comments
  1. Sun Zoo March 10, 2021 2:19 am Reply

    Looks like the powers are trying to get rid of a person who does not fit their agendas.

    The old dogs don’t want people that do not reflect their plantation mentality.

    This is evident with a string of former Kauai Police Chief’s that did not follow the mold of the order of power.

    It is quite evident that the Police Chief was set up.

    If you look at the history of KPD and it’s internal problems with regards to racism and sexism, it’s a culture that’s accepted and practiced and the county and state knows it and will pay lawsuits to settle the acceptable behavior. But, this stinks of what they did to Lum and the other police chief.

    Inquiring minds would like to know who filed the complaint because under the former police chief and acting police chief, many was bypassed promotion in favor of their own kind.

    The racial divide on Kauai is as old as the plantation history.

    The power struggle in the department and on the garden island reflects the demise of public trust within these factions.


    1. Joe Public March 11, 2021 9:45 am Reply

      SURE he was, get your head out of the sand.


  2. KPD Blue March 10, 2021 4:43 am Reply

    Read KPD Blue.

    The public corruption in kpd with the powers are at it again.

    They seem to use the same tactics over and over again and again.

    #AnaholaMurderAttempts
    #DUI/OVUIISetUp
    #Defamation
    #SubpoenaToLeakInfo
    #Manipulation
    #PublicCorruption
    #BruteForce
    #Coverups


    1. Kaaona Kipuka March 10, 2021 3:06 pm Reply

      #HaterThatFailedTheKpdExam…lol


    2. Quincy Jones March 12, 2021 10:21 am Reply

      That silly book is long gone and has nothing to do with whats going on with this current chief. Get your head out of your molasses.


  3. USAF BRAT March 10, 2021 4:47 am Reply

    The police commissioners stoked this fire by interview and hire of a sup-posed qualified police officer from Las Vegas, when Kaua’i already had at least one other highly qualified officer, excluding the hui O Contrades officerS. Since TR arrival, taking the helm, this ha-ole has only recreated another example of the decades of similar COP, COK, Mayors, councils, and fake department/state mobsters and the reigning narcissistic personality disorders they exude. I often tried to and invested a lot of contact time to orient the chief about what to know and how to act in this “melting pot” criminal collusionary community. The chief and a lot of politics associated with the transplanted, as well as 5 decades REtroactive COK department heads, county council Mel Rapozo, pointy-finger carvalho, grove farmer council chairman, Kouchi, the judiciary P.A. Kollar, Kauai courthouse judges Senda, Soong, personnell including bailiff from the UK, a lot of attorney like Trasks or Sulla, and even old retired M.D.s out from KMG Wilcox Hospital for a combined 60 years. I am originally out from Hickham AFB 1959 before that Rhine Main AFB Germany, Pearl Harbor attack boondoggle and over 120-years U.S. military occupation including ballistic missile upgrades PMRF, HEMA “oops incoming not a drill” etc etc. The smell continues in these ‘game over’ practices and no matter how “big” you think you are, there is always a zuckerberg or omidyer, or even a dannerhola musical that needs to be danced to, which just takes time to manifest. PAY to PLAY is the newest saying. Fess Up to your indiscretions, release Ata Brun, and then, beat it. There are too many Holier than thou practioners that have screwed blued and tattoo’d their ownselves EXactly like the “guilty kealoha stolen mailbox fraudulator”, u.s. american hierarchy, and FBI Kenji’s resignation before he took down the remaining thousands of similar gangsters that we have known up close and personal, and are not conspiracy’s but reality! Lots of books written, the most read is ‘KPD Blue’ and ‘The Fifth Seal’ by investigative reporter Benish or Kinzer author ‘Overthrow’.


    1. Kauai Hawaii March 10, 2021 2:55 pm Reply

      So a new chief starts to clean up and here comes the allegations. I call BS


      1. Joe Public March 11, 2021 9:48 am Reply

        This Chief hasnt cleaned up anything. He will be known as the Social Media Queen.

        Couldnt even go into work but made the support staff go in cause he thought he was too valuable to the County should he contract the virus. Pre-madonna.


  4. Seth Upps March 10, 2021 4:55 am Reply

    It looks like a set up by dirty cops. They are trying to keep the power.

    We’ve seen this before.

    I know for a fact kpd dirty cops spread defamation to manipulate people and the masses for their agenda to retaliate or to commit crimes.

    I have never met Kalei Goodwin, Arthur Brun, Balino & Cremer drug ring, Bonachita, and the mma schools, and Da LUA and yet they stalked me and tried to ambush and murder me.

    How did they get info on a person they do not know or ever heard of?

    Kpd abused their authority and intercepted phone calls, emails, text messages by corrupt judges through subpoenas.

    Then they leaked information to these criminals and organizations to retaliate for exposing public corruption.

    I have 50-100 witnesses. Kealoha case, Honolulu PA (Delaplane was involved when he was on Kauai).

    They used their family members to stalk and set up and frame. Mother of a detective, daughter of a cop, niece of a captain, girlfriends of cops, son of a brute cop (likes to choke people especially his former wife and girlfriend) that started it all.

    The truth shall be revealed and kpd public corruption will be exposed.

    The Kealoha’s case has nothing on this true story.


  5. Kauai Boy Mainland March 10, 2021 5:08 am Reply

    OMG please. You know how many times haoles had it worse and nobody say nothing. Racist hypocrites. You owe da haoles billions.


    1. Kamani March 10, 2021 3:29 pm Reply

      “Haoles had it worse? You owe da haoles billions”? Might want to read up on your Hawaiian history. Might figure out who really had it worse.


      1. Kauai Boy Mainland March 10, 2021 6:46 pm Reply

        What? Your revisionist view of history? No thanks. You already proved your racist bigotry just now.
        In Hawaii of the last 100 years haoles had it bad. So take a walk.


      2. Kauai Boy Mainland March 10, 2021 7:08 pm Reply

        You were sold out by the Queen. If it was a hostile physical takeover, I don’t believe it because if da aina so precious, how come they neva fight tooth and nail to the last person to defend it? I’ll tell you why, because it was legal, consentual, and the will of the people at the time. Otherwise they would have fought.
        Unless they were gutless cowards, which I doubt.


        1. Joana k April 17, 2021 7:15 am Reply

          You don’t know the history. Educate yourself on the US Marines in the harbor with their battleships under the international treaties the Kingdom of Hawaii had in place with the USA. You have no idea who Thurston or Cooper were, or what the “Committee of Safety” did. One of President Grover Cleveland’s statements: “on the 16th day of January, 1893, between four and five o’clock in the afternoon, a detachment of marines from the United States steamer Boston, with two pieces of artillery, landed at Honolulu. The men, upwards of 160 in all, were supplied with double cartridge belts filled with ammunition and with haversacks and canteens, and were accompanied by a hospital corps with stretchers and medical supplies (p. 451).” You think the Queen wanted to throw her people before their weapons? What do you think she could fight the US Marines with, poi? Spears? There was no Hawaiian military, there was no royal militia. All you have done is make it clear that you are the revisionist, a group made up of folks who prefer ignorance and fiction that supports what they want to believe is true, to fact. That is all.


  6. Patrick H Flores March 10, 2021 6:22 am Reply

    Regarding the discrimination allegations against Chief of Police Raybuck, I hope that all fairness is employed through the whole process. It seem a sad testimony when recordings are part of everyday conversations and taken out of context. Let us all be respectful of others in every interaction. I hope the truth will prevail, we live in a tough world and law enforcement personal need a very thick skin to endure and function. Thank you for allowing my opinion.
    Patrick Flores, Wailua Houselots


  7. therealhawaiian March 10, 2021 6:58 am Reply

    What a bunch of stupid, contrived, and Whimpey little people surround us today! The big bad man squinted his eyes and spoke in a Japanese/English manor, which is a fact and common. Waaaa… Waaaa….. I’m going to tell my mommy! Give me a break! This is what’s wrong with our Country today! Too many “feelings” getting hurt because the common idiot produced in the new American culture has never left the baby stage! I love the Japanese people and culture more than any culture on earth! I have hundreds of friends in Japan and have done business there for 20 years. They’re laughing at you and the stupid, “hurt” feelings idiocy that is ruining our culture, creating weak, cream puff, overly “sensitive” fools, who are now EVERYWHERE! God help us!


    1. kamani March 10, 2021 3:42 pm Reply

      “The big bad man squinted his eyes and spoke in a Japanese/English manor (manner) which is a fact and common”. Do you actually realize what you’re saying? If you do this and you aren’t Japanese, that’s the definition of racism. Sounds like you’re actually part of what’s wrong with this country.


      1. therealhawaiian March 10, 2021 8:36 pm Reply

        WRONG! You’re one of the idiots! Racism is having no sense of humor, no capability to laugh at each other with respect, and thinking everything said by every one is “RACISM”! It’s those who scream and whine about racism the most who are the real racists among us. AND UNFORTUNATELY THAT IS YOU!!


  8. Culture Comedy March 10, 2021 8:13 am Reply

    So if Frank De Lima does a parody on one of Hawaii’s cultures it’s comedy

    But when Chief Rayburn makes a similar parody, he’s discriminating, he’s a racist ?

    Seems like the shoe is on the other foot, the accuser is discriminating racist.

    Obviously Chief Rayburn couldn’t make it stand up comedy, so he COP’d (Change Of Paroding) and became a COP (Constable Of Police).

    Everyone knows that, except, apparently, his alledge-actors, who themselves in this case appear to be the racists.

    Portuguese Frank De Lima can make joke on all Hawaii cultures, but Police Rayburn cannot ?

    We get De Lima, Bumatai, Kaahea, Angie T, Bu Layia, Rap Replinger, Hilo Hattie, Navarette, Ogata, Bonilla, and Biden; and we going exclude Chief Rayburn ?

    Why ? Cuz the Police Chief ain’t no joke ?

    We got meth, coke, heroin, dangerous prescription drugs on this island, and everyone thinks they are the Masked Bandito or Dr, Kildare or Nurse Cratchit !

    Give it up, the Chief’s a Grade D comedian, but a Grade A Policeman ! Yes Yes Yes !!!
    ,


    1. Kaaona Kipuka March 10, 2021 3:16 pm Reply

      If your going to respond at least get the guys name correct. It’s Raybuck genius…


    2. manongindashadow0711 March 10, 2021 4:30 pm Reply

      Culture Comedy, “you took the words right out of my mouth!” As if no-one here on Kauai such as politicians, store owners, locals, etc . haven’t made any racial comment or facial expression against one’s race.
      There is a scripture that says,” those of you who is without sin, let him cast the first stone!”

      1


  9. Question March 10, 2021 8:46 am Reply

    Kauai is just one of the many millions of places on this planet where the diversity of the Human Race should be celebrated. A true leader recognizes the unique opportunity in such of a community and knows how to harness the strength, intelligence, dedication, and the strong will by the majority of our KPD officers whom do their best every day to strive for excellence to the best of their ability. In knowing that the sky cannot limit the potential of KPD becoming one of the best police departments world-wide, this article begs to have at least one out of many questions answered. Here is a question … Since a human has limited time on this planet of usually less than 10 decades, why would a Chief waste even one minute of time and choose any other path than to build a tight knit and bonded team of people who trained hard and long hours and then took oaths to serve the public ?


  10. Nate March 10, 2021 8:53 am Reply

    Let’s hope the “corrective action” is firing and looking for a new chief. This would be demonstrative of unacceptable bias from anyone in the department. As chief, Raybuck should be held to the highest standard. Only possible course of action is firing or resignation. Complaints like this after less than 2 years on the job should convince the Commission that his hiring was a mistake.


  11. Joe Public March 10, 2021 9:05 am Reply

    Didnt take him long..What about the alleged sexual misconduct in which he was having an affair with a female employee? Surprising that did not surface yet.


  12. Kauaidoug March 10, 2021 11:07 am Reply

    If true, how disappointing, how stupid. How long did we hunt for a police chief? Good grief.


  13. Naruhito March 10, 2021 11:23 am Reply

    悔い改めないことを許すことは、水に絵を描くようなものです

    Forgiving the unrepentant is like drawing pictures on water.

    Chief Raybuck,

    A good start to regaining the trust of the community you serve would be a public apology to this employee. As well as the past employees you have harassed and/or demeaned. The measure of a man’s character is not determined by how he handles his wins, but how he handles his failures.


  14. Joe Public March 10, 2021 11:43 am Reply

    Rumor is the chief was already reprimanded for sexual harassment of a female employee at the Kauai Police Department. Just saying…


  15. Kamani March 10, 2021 3:17 pm Reply

    This is not unique to KPD. Racism in law enforcement is and has always been rampant and with everything that’s been going on with law enforcement related to race relations, the discrimination training cops receive and all the recent attacks on Asians, you would think a police chief would know better. If it’s true, Raybuck or anyone else in law enforcement who does this, needs to be terminated.


  16. RG DeSoto March 10, 2021 3:24 pm Reply

    Pity so many with ultra-thin skin. Hawaii has a long traditional of interracial jesting for instance:
    Mr. Sun Cho Lee
    by Keola and Kapono Beamer

    Mr Sun Cho Lee (Mr Sun Cho Lee), got plenty lychee
    Got plenty lychee, but he no give to me
    And he’s just one mean old Pake man

    Mr Conrad Jones (Mr Conrad Jones), got plenty swimming pool
    Got plenty swimming pool, but he no give to me
    And he’s just a mean old Haole man

    Mr Concepcion (Mr Concepcion), got plenty fighting chicken
    Got plenty fighting chicken, but he no give to me
    And he’s just one mean old Filipino man

    Mr Kazuo Tanaka (Mr Kazuo Tanaka) got plenty camera supply
    Got plenty camera supply, but he no give to me
    And he’s just one mean old Kepani man.

    Miss Momi Lomilomi (Miss Momi Lomilomi), got plenty experience
    Got plenty experience, but she no experience me
    And she’s just one mean old cocktail waitress

    Mr Kamakawiwo’ole (Mr Kamakawiwo’ole),
    got plenty not too much of nothing
    Got plenty nothing, and he takes it out on me
    And he’s just one mean old Hawaiian man

    There is one thing I can say about this place
    All us guys we tease the other race
    It’s amazing we can live in the same place

    Pity this great sentiment seems to be lost,
    RG DeSoto


  17. Kaaona Kipuka March 10, 2021 3:25 pm Reply

    Maybe less time at Kauai Beer or Hualani and more time actually running the PD. And have your officers enforce the law. Still see expired safety checks/registrations, tires sticking out on various lifted trucks/SUVs, illegal tint on the front windshield, to the point that you can’t even see the driver of the vehicle…the list goes on and on…But I don’t want to sound like Mr. Tolbe, or a whining transplant. Just some personal observations… Wasn’t any better with Perry so no matter if “Local” or “No Breath”…lol


  18. John Q. Smith March 10, 2021 4:22 pm Reply

    This chief needs to go. He’s shown his true colors in his 2 years here. Kauai needs a chief who knows and understands the culture and the unique lifestyle here on the Garden Island. Kauai has had some good officers who served. Who, among current or past officers would make a great chief? I have a cousin who served well but he is too old now.


  19. I saw a Vampire once March 10, 2021 4:42 pm Reply

    Racial tensions. If you were in Las Vegas, how would you deal with it? Go to a show. Casinos are open and they take all kinds of customers. As long you have money. Your politicians on Kauai don’t have money and are Japanese. Now look who’s the famous person? Not the Japanese politician. Solution? Let’s party. O yeah, only up to 50 or 100 allowed. Well, at least wear face mask.


  20. Some dumb kid March 10, 2021 5:11 pm Reply

    Punishments should fit the crime. It appears the extent of the damage is hurt feelings and an uncomfortable work environment. Stereotypes erode at good leadership qualities, bosses shouldn’t do it, but let the punishment fit the crime.


  21. kauaibest March 10, 2021 8:44 pm Reply

    He seemed to do a good job when he got here, was widely welcomed, and it was refreshing to think that maybe someone could come in and clean up what we all know needs to be cleaned up. I would hope he’d be more racially sensitive but if he HAS done a good job so far then let this be his lesson. If he’s arrogant and dismissive to locals then ALOHA! Only the people who work with him really know so they should speak up. Is this retaliation for cleaning up the department or does he think he’s superior? None of us should judge just yet.


  22. OMG Shut UP March 10, 2021 10:33 pm Reply

    Get real! We’re so interracial here, everybody’s guilty of a racial slur! Almost every comment here has a racial slur! Too much TV and not even socializing! Darn COVID!! Forcing us to social distance. Those Chinese, South Africans, Brazilian’s and Ukrainian’s created… oops am I being racist? Put it on CNN! Put your energy into the real battles!! Shutttt uppppp…. so you didn’t get promoted!? Boohoo… better add to your resume. What silliness for another $5K a year! That’s coming by the end of the month thank you Unko Joe! Oh wait- is our money anyways!? Fight the right battles people…


  23. hutch March 10, 2021 11:35 pm Reply

    Anybody remember the pake police chief who was referred to as Hop Sing? And TGI, ,please don’t censor the word ‘pake’ if you’re not going to censor the word ‘haole’.


  24. tunnels March 11, 2021 8:21 am Reply

    Another butt hurt alert. Geezuz, whatta cry baby. I thought KPD cops were tougher than this. These “cancel culture” wimps gotta go!


  25. Jeff S. March 11, 2021 4:52 pm Reply

    Holy Cow! Someone make a sign reading SML for Sensitive Lives Matter. Heaven forbid a police officer, wether it be the chief or patrol officer have a sense of humor. From this day forward no joke telling, no Dr. Suess, no boys and girls section in the toy aisle, no standing for the National Anthem, change the name of you football team, change the name of your school, saying the word racist is racist is racist is racist. What a pathetic bunch certain people have become. Sorry if the words Holy or Heaven are too sensitive of words for me to use.


  26. piko March 15, 2021 1:58 pm Reply

    It appears to me it’s alright to trash all the locals, and then turn around, and try to justify, what this chief did, by that method of pointing elsewhere, and …including not printing comments locals have made, …..and calling the locals racist…just for the mention of the word , one word, haole, out of the Hawaiian language. You go bat shoooot crazy, and call locals racist. The word is Haole. and your example in print here…is the Haole way….Read your History people… History has shown this…like your MO, I can, you can’t I am Supreme. Really? No you are not. You are offensive and rude, and much more.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDtwKzmdSHQ

    Go watch the video, you really nedd to. Haoles.


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