Iseri aims to reclaim prosecutor seat

  • Contributed Photo/The Garden Island

    Lihue resident Shaylene Iseri is running for Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney.

Editor’s note: The Prosecuting Attorney Special Primary Election will be held on Saturday, Dec. 18, and a Special General Election will be held Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. ​On the ballot will be Acting Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca Like and former County Councilmember and Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri​. Profiles on both candidates can be found at

After some time away, Kaua‘i County Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri is looking to reclaim her former office.

She was the second candidate to file after the county’s current acting head of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, Rebecca Like.

Iseri, a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i’s Richardson School of Law, is a longtime figure in Kaua‘i government, having served four years on the county council and eight as prosecuting attorney. Since leaving the OPA in 2012, she has worked as a family and criminal law attorney at her own firm, handling everything from drug and kidnapping crimes to adoptions and divorces.

In an interview, Iseri expressed that she felt she had no choice but to run against Like, who Iseri said was following in the footsteps of her predecessor, Justin Kollar, in failing the people of Kaua‘i.

“If you see your community faltering or deteriorating, and you don’t do anything about it, then that’s a sin,” Iseri said.

Iseri explained that her office would take a tough-on-crime approach, prosecuting repeat offenders and those who commit serious crimes as harshly as possible.

“I believe that they’ve become an elitist agency, that they don’t care about the impact their decisions are making,” Iseri said.

She also expressed that her belief that the county has been too eager to offer drug treatment services during the ongoing opioid crisis, saying that “drug treatment is a privilege, not a right.” She also noted that she would prioritize prosecuting drug distributors over street-level users.

During her previous stint as prosecutor, Iseri referred to the prosecution of sexually-based offenses as her “forte.” One example is the case of Eaton Rivera, Jr., who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being arrested in 2009 and charged with first-degree sexual assault for continuously molesting a six-year-old girl. Iseri’s office prosecuted the case and Rivera was convicted on 11 counts of second-degree sexual assault in 2010. Iseri said at the time that “a 10-year term is minimal considering the lifetime sentence that the victim has been subjected to by this sexual predator.”

Iseri boasts the support of Kaua‘i’s police union. Chris Calio, chair of the Kaua‘i chapter of the State of Hawai‘i Organization of Police Officers confirmed on Friday that a majority of its members voted to support her candidacy for Prosecuting Attorney.

Iseri acknowledged that the decision to run was a difficult one, as controversies from her time as Prosecutor are sure to be revived and she would have to sacrifice what she described as a lucrative career.

Dogging Iseri’s legacy are accusations of politically motivated prosecutions and allegations of discrimination. Iseri denied all those allegations, which she said were fabricated. However, documents obtained from Kaua‘i County show that six lawsuits brought against Iseri’s OPA resulted in a total of $1,687,873.80 in settlements and legal defense fees.

The OPA, under Iseri’s leadership, was also accused of politically motivated prosecution by former Councilmember Tim Bynum, who settled his case for $290,000. Former deputy prosecutor Lucas Burns testified in court at the time that he was coached by others in the office to inappropriately record Bynum in secret.

Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe eventually forced the recusal of Iseri’s entire office from Bynum’s case and referred it to the state Attorney General’s office.

Iseri herself was also accused of, among other things, promoting employees who supported her politically over more qualified candidates by now-opponent and then deputy prosecutor Rebecca Like, who settled her case for $25,000.

“There wasn’t any of this discrimination,” Iseri said. “I hired more white people than what Justin (Kollar) has ever hired, and it’s just bizarre that this turned into what it did.”

Iseri said that the lawsuits brought against her were part of a conspiracy to flood her office with lawsuits and charges of discrimination to derail her 2012 reelection bid, the goal being to prevent her from prosecuting then-Mayor Bernard Carvalho on charges of theft connected to a scandal involving the improper use of gas cards.

“All of this was planned, the lawsuits that were there,” Iseri said. “I’m almost certain that that’s the reason because they could not attack me on any of the services I had done as a prosecutor because my conviction rates were 97%.”

She maintained that every accusation made in the settlements was false and said her only failure in managing the OPA was “not hiring the right people.”

Ultimately, Iseri said that she is running to be tough on crime and bring a culture of hard work to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

A primary election is scheduled for Dec. 18.

  1. More November 26, 2021 3:13 am Reply

    More malfeasance? How much did she cost the taxpayers in her reign of terror? Hundreds of thousands to a million dollars? What would Aurero Moore say about her wanting back in the PA position of power and control?

    Remember the get out of jail “POHAKU” where friends and families pay $200 like the game monopoly and skip going to jail.

    This is not comical anymore. This is serious.

  2. Schar Freeman November 26, 2021 4:46 am Reply

    Please Kaua’i, remember the law suits and cases that went UN-prosecuted during her previous time in office. She was NOT good for Kaua’i. She was and most likely still is corrupt. Too connected to be of any good to truly fight the crime on this island.

  3. Pohaku November 26, 2021 4:50 am Reply

    Shay and Mel should be sitting right next to the Kealoha’s.

    Aurero Moore would approve.

    They tried to set me up for an Aurero Moore like execution at Anahola beach with two gudots in a black hard body 1980’s Nissan side cab truck.

    They also tried to use females to get me to anahola beach to be executed several times.

    1. Kauai Eclectic November 26, 2021 11:49 am Reply

      Read the Hilario chronicles on Kauai Eclectic and find out missing information and the connections between Shay, Mel, Moore, Hilario, and the grandma of Hilario in the comments.

      This is worst than the Kealoha trials.

  4. Dilligaf November 26, 2021 5:44 am Reply

    Prove the accusations were false you are a Attorney. We all Know Attorneys lie for a living. Evidence will set you free, until then…….

  5. Weak Sauce November 26, 2021 6:37 am Reply

    How is she and Melvin not in jail?

    Feds are weak sauce

    1. Erin Gemini November 26, 2021 5:29 pm Reply

      Before people tic any box to vote for ANY prosecutor,(ESPECIALLY this one), they need to see if their political past or past in general is filled with CONTROVERSY….enough said!

  6. Uncleaina November 26, 2021 8:18 am Reply

    Why on earth would we ever want this woman back? She was literally the worst. I recall she left a murderer stay at KCCC for a year after he was supposed to be transferred to prison. She picked “mean girl” fights and had personal vendettas against people. After what happened with Brun are we going to keep electing these people who are obviously terrible? This woman is like a mix of a hangover with a stomach virus – why would you ever want to have that again?

  7. Wethepeople November 26, 2021 8:27 am Reply

    That’s just great. We have someone who is obviously guilty of being an angry, jealous, racist discriminator, running against a progressive, feel good, weakling whose focus is to fix the paperwork system and be soft on criminals so they “feel” better, are the two candidates we have to choose from? After what happened with our election of clowns in Washington, DC, and now seeing the horrible choice we’ll have to make here on little Kauai, is the requirement for being a political representative of the people at all levels greed, corruption, and/or stupidity on one level or another?

  8. Tooindependent November 26, 2021 8:37 am Reply

    More Iseri would mean more miseri. I think with the files the county has on suits filed against Iseri, shows her style is not what we need period. After the show she put on with the Bynum extravaganza, I’m surprised that the bar didn’t repop her license for good. I also think Ms. Like should have finished when Kollar left. Then and only then make the position part of the election. The $500,000 the county wasted on the election could have bought the county property to build a 20 unit affordable apartments instead. In the future let’s hope the county hires people who are educated better for those kind of decisions.

  9. kauaiboy November 26, 2021 8:38 am Reply

    Six lawsuits brought against Iseri’s Office of the Prosecuting Attorney during the four years she headed the office resulted in a total of $1,687,873.80 in settlements and legal defense fees, paid for by County taxpayers??

    Let’s not be stupid about who we vote into office. This woman obviously is not capable of running a smart, unbiased public office.

    1. Joe Public November 26, 2021 1:16 pm Reply

      Look how much Perry, Contrades and Asher cost the county over the years, yet they kept them in office to incur more lawsuits, the County needs to utilize the system they have in place to end their careers early

      1. Bush Cheney Rums November 26, 2021 4:11 pm Reply

        The three headed beast.


        They think people don’t know.

  10. KauaiGal November 26, 2021 9:26 am Reply

    Voting for Iseri is akin to stepping back in time and repeating a terrible mistake. She used her past position to manipulate the system and wasted county funds on her own personal vendettas. We as Kaua’i citizens paid for her mistakes and unprofessionalism last time. Please Kaua’i, do not repeat this terrible mistake again!

  11. Imua44 November 26, 2021 12:09 pm Reply

    Iseri prosecutes criminals.
    Police support her.
    She understands Kauai and is strong.
    Next time your house gets burgled, take look at the soft let them free policies.
    Support your police.

  12. Vigilauntie November 26, 2021 3:08 pm Reply

    Shaylene must hope all the voters forgot the over $1 million she cost the county for her harassment of at least six people in the 4 years she was prosecutor; all her unethical behavior; and don’t learn about her drinking problem. She clearly does not belong in any elected position.

  13. Vigilauntie November 26, 2021 4:09 pm Reply

    It’s a sad day for our community when SHOPO backs someone like Shaylene: no ethical standards, racially harasses her staff members, lies all the time, can never admit she is wrong, malicious prosecution of political enemies, etc. SHOPO must have forgotten how poorly she treated KPD when she was prosecutor.

    1. Shopo November 27, 2021 10:23 pm Reply

      Shopping has been corrupt since they were created by dirty cops.

      They fooled you all for decades. SHOPP is a dirty cops safe haven.

      SHOPO should be investigated like the Chicago and New York corrupt police organizations that Feds took down.

      Shopo supported the Kealoha’s and Larry Mehau.

      You all know Larry Mehau was?

      You all think that the police departments in the state of hawaii don’t belong to the states mafia?

      You all don’t even know.

      Why you think a top ranking had to move to big island? Because how beautiful the volcano is? lol

      Top dawg-new shot caller

  14. Melica Roberts November 26, 2021 8:57 pm Reply

    Shame on you. Misinformation and worse yet false characterizations are wrong. Did you know that Perry, Contrades, and Asher were not the cause of the lawsuits; they were trying to tell the truth as to what happened but were made out to be the bad guys by top ranking government officials who were in collusion. Walking a mile in ones shoes should be a perquisite before jumping to conclusions.

    1. Cover up November 27, 2021 9:49 pm Reply

      Asher covered up for the Kauai serial killer that everyone knows he’s the son of a mafia boss and brother of Kauai’s notorious dirty cop that serves in DLNR.

      Perry covered up many complaints against dirty cops and the Koucher death is a huge cover up and the state witness has lost all credibility to what they testified. He also went after his own in kpd and the tax payers had to pay a good cop in that lawsuit.

      Contrades is dirty. Secret dirty. He tried to go full blitz on a person who exposed public corruption and it included a top ranking public official in the executive branch to conduct a beer gate with DON to set up that person.

      Lots of hidden truths.

      Iseri is worst than the Kealoha’s. Ask the Moore family.

  15. Khsgrad November 26, 2021 9:26 pm Reply

    Google her and search the public records of the Kauai courts. There is plenty to read about this woman, she should have lost her license to practice law along time ago. ShMel was the just beginning of a long line of unprofessional conduct. Actually, the misconduct began at her previous employers on outer islands, Kauai turned a blind eye because she, at one time, carried the name of a well respected family.

  16. Clean and Sober November 26, 2021 10:42 pm Reply

    She’s saying that six people decided to sue the county to stop her from prosecuting Bernard Carvalho? None of the cases went to trial. All were settled not by the mayor but by the council. That means the council, the six people that sued her, the judge and the mayor were all out to get her. She must not play nicely with others.

    1. Gas theft November 27, 2021 10:06 pm Reply

      Gas theft case involving the former Mayor, his family, and fireman can be read on KauaiEclectic.

      But what happened to the million dollars that went missing?

      And that’s why they don’t want to hire a CPA.

      The Ernie Pasion attacks was retaliation for exposing public corruption in missing money.

      A person applied for the CPA position posted by the county of Kauai and he managed county budgets of over 2 billion a year but the former Mayor response to him and his wife was the county found a better qualified candidate to serve as the county of Kauai’s CPA. 8 years later the position is vacant. What and effing liar.

      Why haven’t they hired a qualified CPA? Waiting for a family member to get qualified so they have/had all the time in the world to hide stolen monies.

      Lots of shibai

  17. mark November 27, 2021 5:55 am Reply

    I believe she did a great injustice to a very kind and giving man- Tim Bynum during her reign. I cannot forget the harm you have caused to hm. I will be voting for Rebecca Like

    1. Clean and Sober November 27, 2021 12:20 pm Reply

      She bullied him when they were on the council and when she became the prosecutor. In Tim Bynum’s case, she went after him for having a rice cooker in his rental unit. Seriously. When Shaylene says that she’ll be actively prosecuting cases, hide your rice cookers! She had her first deputy, Jake Delaplane, secretly tape people. When the taping was revealed in court, the judge disqualified Shaylene, Jake and the whole prosecutor’s office because of their unethical behavior. The deputy attorney general assigned to review the case decided it sucked and dismissed it. Sadly, Tim really suffered as a result of her persecution.

      This is what we can expect if Shaylene is prosecutor. She and her first deputy pursuing minor zoning violations for political and personal reasons, and violating the rights of an innocent person at a cost of hundreds of thousands to the taxpayer.

      1. CPT Kirk November 27, 2021 10:11 pm Reply

        Kpd used Delaplane’s wife to try and set up a person they targeted for exposing judicial corruption.

        Ask his former wife.

        Jake doesn’t look anything like Cpt Kirk.

        Roll tide.

        1. CacS November 27, 2021 10:13 pm Reply

          Helen Cox and Brandon Shimokawa was involved in kpd’s collusion with KCC’s staff, students and faculty.

          Big cover up.

  18. tunnels November 27, 2021 7:13 am Reply

    A vote for Shay is a vote for disaster. We have an opportunity to not let history repeat itself. How can anyone forget the tyranny suffered under the yoke of this führer is beyond me!

  19. Police...OK November 27, 2021 9:25 am Reply

    Supporting police is one thing: supporting Iseri should NOT be done by voters AGAIN! Once burned, twice shy! C’mon voters! What what the name of The WHO song back in 1972: “wont be fooled again”….

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