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Tuesday, September 12, 2017
September 12, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:20 PM :: 2723 Views

Hawaii Risks Loss of Federal Funds to Force Abortion on Churches

Hawaii Congressional Delegation How They Voted September 11, 2017

Audit Exposes Illegal System to Bypass Civil Service, Hire 100s of Kenoi Cronies

HTH: …Hawaii County’s hiring practices, long a source of complaints of unfairness and favoritism, are sharply criticized in a report released last week by the county’s legislative auditor.

Auditor Bonnie Nims said in the 49-page report that the creation by former Mayor Billy Kenoi and the Department of Human Resources in 2013 of a Staffing Review Committee contributed to “questionable hiring practices” and “inappropriate involvement” in a hiring agency’s choice of qualified candidates.

HR’s “insufficient monitoring” of county departments contributed to the problem, the audit said.

“The county’s hiring practices did not ensure equitable, uniform and transparent selection of candidates which may have resulted in non-compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations and county policies and procedures,” the audit states.

The audit focused on hirings of Clerk III, Laborer II and Park Caretaker I positions in four departments: Environmental Management, Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Finance.

Of the 404 civil service positions filled in 2016, auditors reviewed 46 and found 42 contained questionable hiring practices.  (91% crony hires)

It found cases in some departments where applicants were offered positions before interviews were conducted, where no references were checked, where the number of interviews were the same as vacancies even though there was a large referred list, where a random number generator instead of a skills test was used to winnow applicants, where applications with mainland addresses were discarded and other questionable practices…. 

SA: Hiring practices need oversight

PDF: 2017-03 Performance Audit Report: County of Hawai'i's Department of Human Resources Hiring Practices

read … Hawaii County of Retaliation -1

Lawsuit: Hawaii County Police Used Stun Gun On Wrong Man—Tried to Cover it up

CB: …Daniel Harris was visiting his mother at her Hilo home when officers arrived with an arrest warrant in 2015, said the lawsuit filed Friday by attorneys representing Harris and his family.

“The officers rushed into the house and shot Harris with a Taser and assaulted him and stomped on his face,” the lawsuit said. The officers then dragged him down the stairs and into the backseat of a police car, the lawsuit said.

Harris defecated on himself when he was shot by the Taser, the lawsuit said.

He was treated and cleaned at a hospital and then taken to a police station for booking. It was during the booking process that officers realized they arrested the wrong Daniel Harris, the lawsuit said: “The Daniel Harris they were supposed to arrest was older and did not look like him.”

But instead of apologizing and releasing him, the lawsuit alleges the officers falsely charged him with drunken driving and other charges. All the charges were later dropped.

After his wife bailed him out, Harris went to the police commissioner’s officer to file a misconduct complaint. “However, the police commissioner’s officer told him that he should really think about it before making such a report, implying that filing such a complaint would be a mistake and could result in retaliation,” the lawsuit said…..

read … Hawaii County of Retaliation-2

Republican Opposition To The Rail Special Session

CB: …The House Minority Caucus has only five members and played a valuable role this special session by providing a voice for dissent.

Our caucus introduced four floor amendments that aimed to bring real accountability to the rail project, enforce a strict budget limit, implement public-private partnerships to save time and taxpayer money, and eliminate the geographic injustice of taxing neighbor island businesses to pay for Honolulu’s budget-busting rail.

First, we wanted to help restore public confidence in the rail project by ensuring that the audit would specifically seek out fraud, waste and abuse.

Although the existing bill asks the auditor to examine the rail project’s records, our floor amendment called for a “forensic” audit that explicitly directs the auditor to look for evidence of criminal activity. Without the word “forensic,” there’s fat chance fraud will be uncovered.

Our second floor amendment addressed the project’s soaring costs and likely future visits from the mayor requesting even more tax dollars. He still insists that the project is $600 million to $900 million short, and has admitted he doesn’t know where rail operational and maintenance funds will come from.

Some analysts predict the final cost might be as much as $10 billion to 15 billion. At this rate, who knows how high it could go! That’s why our second floor amendment would have imposed a “rail cap” and put a stop to blind funding of rail.

Our third amendment would have stopped the flow of state funds for the rail project unless the city could come up with at least 10 percent of the project costs from private investment. It’s simply unfair that public officials have ignored P3 opportunities in favor of repeatedly raising your taxes.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, our last floor amendment would have exempted neighbor islands from the transient accommodations tax increase….

CB: Hawaii Lawmakers Deserve Credit For Doing Their Job

read … The Loyal Opposition To The Rail Special Session

News Outlets Challenge Honolulu Police Commission Secrecy

CB: Civil Beat and the Star-Advertiser have teamed up in an effort to make sure the public has access to hearings for officers who want taxpayers to foot their legal bills.

read … News Outlets Challenge Honolulu Police Commission Secrecy

Star-Advertiser staff cuts follow lower earnings by parent company

ILind: The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest newspaper, abruptly terminated ten newsroom staff on Friday, according to a report from Civil Beat.

The latest cuts followed an earlier round about a year ago that resulted in a lost of 15 positions. Overall, the newspaper has cut its editorial staff nearly 25% in about a year, falling from 110 to 85.

CB: Star-Advertiser Cuts Nearly 10 Percent Of Its Newsroom Staff

read … More Cuts

Hawaii adds Only Four Shelters from Cat 2 Hurricane

SA: …Hawaii has 237 shelters statewide, which can accommodate nearly 278,000 people. But the state has not kept pace with the growth in population and visitor count.

If about a third of the population needed shelter, the islands would fall short by more than 220,000 spaces, say officials for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Further, many of those buildings that have the supplies to serve a shelter function are structurally ill-equipped. Most sheltering would happen in public school buildings, which are old and could not be reinforced to withstand more than a Category 1 hurricane.

Even now, 25 years since Hawaii was hit with a Category 4 storm, there are only 40 buildings the state has retrofitted or deemed already to be hurricane-ready. Only one is rated to take buffeting from Category 4 winds. Only one other could survive a Category 3 and only two are up to Category 2 level….

Meanwhile: Hawaii: North Korea Threat is Excuse for Another Pork Barrel Project

read … Shore up defense against hurricanes

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