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Kauai police chief and mayor clash over return to work

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:46 p.m. HST, Feb 22, 2012


LIHUE >> Kauai's mayor and police chief are fighting over the top cop's job, with the mayor saying he's ready to go to court to keep the lawman off the beat. 

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. placed Chief Darryl Perry on leave earlier this month while the county investigated an employee complaint.

But Perry told The Garden Island newspaper that only the county police commission has the legal authority to place him on leave.

Today, he returned to work after the police commission unanimously voted that he should. 

At police headquarters, Perry ordered assistant chief Mark Begley to open his office and reissue his equipment. But Begley replied the mayor and county attorney had given direct orders not to do that, Perry told Hawaii News Now.

"Right now, I'm actually on duty, but I don't have any equipment with me. I can't get in t my office. I don't have access to my computer," said Perry, who was dressed in a tan and grey aloha shirt instead of a blue police uniform. 

He also never received his gun and badge.

The mayor issued a statement saying he has the authority to place Perry on leave and is comfortable defending that position in court. Carvalho said Perry himself wanted the county to place him on leave. 

Carvalho enclosed a copy of a Jan. 30 email message from Perry to police commission members asking them to urge the mayor's office to approve his request to be put on leave without delay.

In the email Perry said he wanted to be put on leave because of his involvement in a "hostile working environment" complaint filed by an officer against an assistant police chief.

Carvalho said Perry will remain on leave "until we have discussed and agreed upon terms of his return."

"It is also my strong belief that we should not rush into decisions in the middle of such a highly sensitive set of circumstances — where there are more than just the interests of Chief Perry involved," Carvalho said. 

Perry said he was suspended from Feb. 1 until Feb. 7 "for insubordination and dereliction of duty." He said he was then placed on paid leave starting Feb. 8.

"I can't go into details as to why that occurred," Perry said. "What I can say is, based on the county charter, I believe the mayor and the managing director exceeded their authority in placing me on suspension."

Perry became police chief in 2007.

Perry, who grew up in Lihue, started his nearly four-decade career in law enforcement as a Kauai police officer. He later moved to Oahu and joined the Honolulu Police Department. 

At HPD, Perry commanded the Juvenile Services, Narcotics-Vice and Criminal Investigations units. He also worked with the state attorney general's office investigating Internet crimes against children.

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false wrote:
Perry is a good Police Chief for Kauai.
on February 22,2012 | 08:10AM
cojef wrote:
The Mayor over-stepped his authority. In view of the fact that there were valid complaints against the management of the police department, the Mayor felt he needed to act to protecr his political career. He has higher aspirations and would certainly try to demonstrate his abilities as a "take charge" individual for the voters. Nevertheless, I like what he did, instead to let the matter fester. The process is now in the open, and transparency may result. The Kauai Police Department has a notorious reputation for having internal problems for many years. Eventually the chronic complainers will retire and hopefully the new recruits will learn and not repeat the same mistakes.
on February 22,2012 | 08:21AM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
What ever the problem was the mayor did his job. Damed if you don't and damed if you do. The mayor has my vote. His job is not an easy one. But funny - they must love him alot to keep voting him in office. Good job Mayor and keep it up.
on February 22,2012 | 08:42AM
connie wrote:
Mayor Carvalho is right. He is there to protect public safety and protect the County against any exposure to civil liability. If we find out later (in a court of law) what really happened, we, the taxpayers, could pay. And it will hurt everyone involved. There will be no winners if it gets to that point.
on February 22,2012 | 09:39AM
maafifloos wrote:
Bottom line: who works for who?
on February 22,2012 | 09:44AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
"Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. are at odds over whether Police Chief Darryl Perry can return to work today, pending the outcome of a complaint of a hostile work environment initiated by a Kauai police officer." Shouldn't it read, Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. IS at odds.................
on February 22,2012 | 10:31AM
false wrote:
This is the reason there is a Police Commission, so politicians canʻt circumvent the system. The Police Chief answers to the Commission.
on February 22,2012 | 10:42AM
poidragon wrote:
As the mayor of the island of Kauai, his authority stands above that of the Chief of Police in the City hierarchy, whether the chief likes it or not....better watch those budget requests, there chiefy....they might get lost in the shuffle one of these days.....oy!
on February 22,2012 | 03:18PM
Dragonman wrote:
Publicbraddah, you are correct as I had to read the opening paragraph several times before I understood what was being said. I usually don't with grammar errors but in this case it is a poorly written article and should be pointed out. The other thing that bohters me is that the suspended people are public employees and the public has a right to know what the charges against them are.
on February 22,2012 | 10:50AM
Poipounder808 wrote:
Actually it should read "Kauai Mayor Berbard P> Carvalho Jr. and Police Chief Darryl Perry are at odds..."
on February 22,2012 | 11:34AM
poidragon wrote:
It's the Star advertiser, what do you expect? They have no competition to write against and so have become lax and lazy when it comes to reporting and grammar.
on February 22,2012 | 03:19PM
st1d wrote:
sad to think that one toxic employee is the cause of this disruption on kauai. perry was right to seek refuge from her habit of filing lawsuits against her superiors.
on February 22,2012 | 12:28PM
High_Society wrote:
Hope Perry is back to work soon.
on February 22,2012 | 01:12PM
saveparadise wrote:
Darryl Perry is not a corrupt officer. Get out of the way and let him do his job. A good leader motivates and removes obstacles for his staff to perform the best job possible. Maybe the complainant is the obstacle? Need more facts. In the mean time the Police Chief with an obviously dedicated record wants to perform his duties.
on February 22,2012 | 02:44PM
tsushimama wrote:
Chief Perry is subject to the police commission who both appoint and evaluate him. Even the commission has to stay out of the area of police operations. This has been stated by prior writers as well. The reason for the charter to be set up this way is so political pressure and influence can be minimized. Even that can be manipulated when a mayor has suuficient time in office to have all the commissioners come from his appointments. It is then you can see actions such as a union having undue influence on the selection of a chief as happened in Honolulu. You can be sure that all the counties, mayors, and chiefs are looking at what happens here. It seems Chief Perry is standing up correctly to the mayor. Kauai is fortunate tohave a chief with ideals.
on February 22,2012 | 04:53PM
false wrote:
Thank You!
on February 22,2012 | 05:19PM
Poipounder808 wrote:
Anyone who has ever worked with or for Chief Perry knows he is honest and dedicated. He has no agenda other then to clean things up and get morale back where it is suppose to be. The Mayor has turned this into a pissing match and I predict he will lose this battle. Politics and police work do not mix well, let Chief Perry do his job and keep the dirty politics out of KPD.
on February 22,2012 | 08:50PM
ejkorvette wrote:
A Small Town with Small Town issues with Small Town people. Turn the page, no need for media coverage. There was none before the incident, shouldn't be any now or after. Whom ever is wrong should be fair and justly prosecuted. Employee complaint, handle it within the jurisdiction of the system.
on February 23,2012 | 01:52AM
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