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Oral Argument Before the Intermediate Court of Appeals

CAAP-13-0000015 -(Consolidated with CAAP-12-0001123), Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 9 a.m.

KAUAI POLICE COMMISSION, by its COMMISSIONERS ERNEST KANEKOA, JR., CHAIR, JAMES O’CONNOR, VICE-CHAIR, CHARLES IONA, BRADLEY CHIBA, RANDALL FRANCISCO, ALFRED NEBRE, JR., DONALD OKAMI, SR., in their official capacities, Plaintiffs- Appellants, vs. BERNARD P. CARVALHO, JR., in his official capacity as the Mayor of the County of Kauai, Defendant-Appellee.

The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali`iolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Attorney(s) for Plaintiffs-Appellants:

Corlis J. Chang, Edmund K. Saffery, Marissa L.L. Owens, and Scott K.D. Shishido of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel

Attorney(s) for Defendant-Appellee:

Wendell H. Fuji and Anthony F. Suetsugu of Kobayashi Sugita & Goda

COURT: Fujise, Leonard and Ginoza, JJ.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Plaintiff-Appellant Kaua`i Police Commission asserts that the Circuit Court of the Fifth Circuit erred in concluding that, under the County of Kaua`i Charter, Defendant-Appellee Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. has the authority to suspend and/or otherwise discipline the County of Kaua`i Chief of Police, and not the Police Commission.

The Police Commission filed a Complaint for Declaratory Relief seeking a declaratory judgment that the Police Commission has the sole authority to suspend and/or otherwise discipline the Chief of Police. The dispute arose because, in or around February 2012, the Mayor suspended the Chief of Police from work for a period of time and then placed him on administrative leave. The Police Commission unanimously voted to have the Chief of Police return to work and ordered him to do so. However, when the Chief of Police returned to work, he was not allowed into his office and was informed that the Mayor refused to reinstate him and he was still on administrative leave. Despite their ongoing disagreement, the Police Commission and the Mayor subsequently reached a decision to allow the Chief of Police to return to work.

The circuit court denied the Police Commission’s motion for summary judgment, granted the Mayor’s cross-motion for summary judgment, and entered a declaratory judgment in favor of the Mayor. The Police Commission contends on appeal that the circuit court erred in concluding that the County of Kaua`i Charter authorizes the Mayor, as chief executive officer, to suspend and/or otherwise discipline the Chief of Police, and that, while the Police Commission may remove the Chief of Police, the Commission does not have the authority to suspend and/or otherwise discipline the Chief of Police.