State Deputy Attorney Kevin Takata, who took on City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro during the November 6 General Election, will accept the First Deputy position with the newly elected prosecutor in Kauai County.
Takata lost to incumbent prosecutor Kaneshiro during the November 6 General Election by a vote of 157,009 or 52.6% to 109,464 or 36.7%.
Takata told Hawaii Reporter: “I didn’t know the newly elected prosecutor, Justin Kollar, until he called to offer me the job. His head and heart are in the right place; we ran for similar reasons and I believe I can do a lot of good things for Kauai.”
When he begins the new position, Takata will be smack in the middle of a heated island controversy between the mayor, the departing prosecutor and the police chief.
The current prosecutor, Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, attempted to have the mayor indicted on theft charges related to his alleged misuse of $5,000 in county gas.
While she was unsuccessful in her efforts to indict the mayor, she did get an indictment for another county worker, Kauai county official Janine Rapozo, on November 14 that alleges that Rapozo “promoted or facilitated” Carvalho’s fuel thefts.
Police Chief Darryl Perry did prepare a warrant for the arrest of Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. on charges that he stole more than $5,000 of county gasoline in 2009 and 2010 has been submitted to two state judges on the Garden Isle who reportedly refused to sign the warrant until there is more evidence.
The Carvalho arrest warrant was prepared by the Kauai Police Department on the strength of 1,000 pages of evidence including a county audit and an independent investigation conducted by a well-respected local law firm and a former police officer.
Carvalho’s personal attorney, Eric Seitz, maintains the mayor is innocent.
The newly elected prosecutor, Justin Kollar, who worked in the prosecutor’s office and in the mayor’s administration, and whose candidacy was backed by the mayor, is expected to be one of the mayor’s allies in the dispute.