Kauai Prosecuting Attorney’s Aloha Or Else Policy Costs Hawaiian County $120,000

Kauai County Hawaii’s top law enforcement officer may have broken more laws than she has enforced.

Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho broke federal law, according to the EEOC. According to published reports, Iseri-Carvalho and has also entangled the county in other lawsuits.

Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, Kauai Prosecuting Attorney and lawsuit machine.

Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, Kauai Prosecuting Attorney

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a $120,000 settlement was reached with Shannon Weigel, who was a deputy prosecuting attorney on Kauai from November 2009 to February 2010.

The EEOC said the manager, County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, allegedly made continually disparaging comments to Weigel, who is white.

Weigel was asked to assimilate into the local culture and break up with her Caucasian boyfriend in favor of a local boy, according to the EEOC.

Weigel now works in private law practice in Colorado her home state.

Following the EEOC determination, the County of Kauai entered into a two-year conciliation agreement with the EEOC and the alleged victim. The agreement effectively settles the case administratively, avoiding potential litigation.

Aside from the monetary damages, the county agreed to establish policies and complaint procedures dealing with workplace discrimination and harassment. It will provide live EEO training to all managers and supervisors.

The county further agreed to post notices on the matter on all bulletin boards throughout the county and to permit the disclosure of the settlement.

“The workplace is no place for derogatory remarks pertaining to race or any other protected basis, and it is important for an employer to take immediate corrective action when faced with illegal harassment,” said Timothy Riera, director of the EEOC’s Honolulu office. “We commend the County of Kauai for expeditiously resolving this matter and agreeing to measures which will prevent and deal with both harassment and discrimination on the job.”

Population Of Kauai Diverse, But Small

Map of Hawaii highlighting Kauai

Map of Hawaii highlighting Kauai

Kauai is the northern most of the group of islands that comprise the U.S. state of Hawaii.

Although Kauai is internationally known as a tourist destination and home to rock stars and other wealthy individuals, the local permanent population is just 67,091 as of 2010.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the racial makeup of the county is 36.0% Asian, 29.5% white, 23.8% from two or more races and 9.1% Pacific Islander. Just 8.2% of the island’s population is Hispanic or Latino, 0.3% black or African American, 0.4% Native American and 0.9% from other races.

From The Garden Island

A deputy prosecuting attorney has filed suit in 5th Circuit Court against her employer for retaliation, seniority and salary issues.

Rebecca Vogt, a deputy prosecutor with Kauai County since August 2010, filed a civil complaint Tuesday against the County of Kaua’i and County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho.

Kauai from space

Kauai from space

The complaint alleges discrimination, violation of public policy and infringement of free speech.

Honolulu attorney Roman Amaguin said the timing of the civil complaint with the election is purely coincidental. His client took medical leave from the OPA in early September and filed the complaint two weeks later.

“The treatment she received, we are alleging, is retaliatory in nature,” he said.

The complaint states that Vogt did not openly support any candidate for Prosecuting Attorney. In not supporting the re-election campaign of her employer and defendant in the lawsuit, Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, the complaint states that by inference Vogt supported Justin Kollar, Iseri-Carvalho’s opponent in the November elections.

“We deny the allegations contained in Vogt’s complaint and look forward to the facts being revealed in the appropriate forum,” Iseri-Carvalho said in a statement Thursday.

According to published reports, a city council member from the island’s largest city is also suing her alleging malicious prosecution.

See also: Kauai Prosecutor Denies Perjury Plot: Says Mayor, County Attorneys Peddling Influence

Iseri-Carvalho is also claiming that the timinf of the EEOC settlement with Kauai County and other charges against are politically motived. A first-term prosecutor, Iseri-Carvalho is up for reelection in November 2012.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further EEOC information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

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