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Kauai voters won’t be asked to clarify mayor’s power over police chief


Kauai County voters won’t be asked if they want a County Charter amendment to clarify whether the mayor has legal authority over department heads, such as the police chief, appointed by a county commission.

The county council did not pass a resolution that was prompted when Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. placed Police Chief Darryl Perry on leave while the county investigated an employee complaint. Perry claimed only the police commission had the authority to do so.

The Garden Island newspaper reported Friday that the charter says the mayor has direct supervision over all departments “except as otherwise provided.” A county attorney interpreted that as authorizing Carvalho to place Perry on leave.

The mayor later allowed Perry to return to his job.

The police commission has filed a lawsuit asking for court clarification on the issue.

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