BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN AND JIM DOOLEY – Kauai’s outgoing prosecuting attorney says she will move to
reinstate criminal charges against county official Janine Rapozo.
Yesterday Kauai Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano dismissed a theft indictment of county executive Janine Rapozo, ruling that not enough grand jurors supported the charge. Story
Now Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Cravalho says she will seek to re-charge Rapozo.
“The Office of Prosecuting Attorney will be seeking an open and transparent process of filing charges by a criminal complaint in District Court,” Iseri-Carvalho said in a news release.
A preliminary hearing will then be held “in open court where all the evidence will be presented publicly and the Judge will make a determination of probable cause,” the prosecutor said.
Rapozo, the county’s Human Resources Director and former head of the Transportation Department, was indicted Nov. 15 on charges of “promoting or facilitating” Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho’s alleged theft of gasoline from the county.
Carvalho was named in the indictment but he was not charged with a crime. A separate warrant issued by Kauai police for Carvalho’s arrest was not served after two Kauai judges said there was insufficient evidence to support it.
Valenciano tossed out the Rapozo indictment after finding that 10 instead of the legally-required 11 grand jurors voted for the “true bill.”
Iseri-Carvalho disputed Mayor Carvalho’s statement yesterday which said Rapozo had been “cleared.”
“This is inaccurate and misleading,” she said, adding that a mayoral news release was “designed to confuse and
mislead the public.”
And Iseri-Carvalho said she will ask Valenciano to unseal “1,075 pages of supporting documents (filed) with the Court that provide the details of the investigation.”
“Although the Court has now ordered these documents to be sealed, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney will be filing a motion to unseal the documents in order to promote the principles of openness and transparency in government operations,” said Iseri-Carvalho.
Iseri-Cravalho is entering her final month in office. She lost her re-election campaign this month to Justin Kollar, an attorney in Carvalho’s administration, whose candidacy was supported by the mayor.
Iseri-Carvalho said a statement by Carvalho that his administration never had a chance to discuss his gasoline usage with auditors or police “is simply a lie.”
She said Carvalho “was given multiple opportunities for over one year to speak with audit investigators and the Kauai Police Department during the course of the investigation.”
The mayor “repeatedly chose, however, to remain silent, refused to give a statement, and did not cooperate with the investigation,” said Iseri-Carvalho.