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State briefs for November 5

Lawsuit against Kauai PD settled for $1.84M

HONOLULU — An assistant chief of police on Kauai settled a lawsuit against his department and Kauai County for $1.84 million.

Mark Begley sued the county and the Kauai Police Department in 2016, alleging he was harassed and retaliated against by former Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry.

Begley’s lawsuit claimed the harassment began in 2012 when he encouraged a female officer to file a sexual harassment complaint against another assistant chief.

Perry was suspended by then-Mayor Bernard Carvalho for allegedly mishandling the sexual harassment complaint, but an appeals court decision returned Perry to command.

Loretta Sheehan, one of Begley’s attorneys, said Perry and his subordinates retaliated against Begley with investigations intended to force him out.

Begley took a leave of absence in 2012 but was reinstated last year after Perry retired.

Kauai County did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement and attorneys for the county had no immediate comment.

Perry has said the investigations were justified. He also said he was willing to have the court decide the case.

“The main reason for the settlement was because the insurance company did not want to incur anymore legal fees such as from attorney Ms. Loretta Sheehan (former HPD commissioner) and others,” Perry said.

Chef Alan Wong closes King Street restaurant

HONOLULU — Honolulu’s restaurant industry suffered another blow resulting from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic with the permanent closure of Chef Alan Wong’s King Street restaurant.

Wong announced a temporary suspension of operations in August, saying he hoped to reopen in several months.

Wong said Monday he decided to retire the 25-year-old restaurant on South King Street, but left open the possibility of opening another restaurant in the future.

“This is not the end,” Wong said. “Maybe in a better time, a better day, we’ll do something different. It’s time for a new chapter.”

Wong opened his restaurant in April 1995 and a year later it was nominated for a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for best new restaurant in the nation. Wong won the award for top chef in the Hawaii and Pacific Northwest region.

The restaurant was known for its cuisine as well as high-profile guests, including former President Barack Obama and his family.

Prominent local chefs praised Wong and lamented the loss.

“I was very surprised because Alan Wong is like a godfather of the fusion Hawaii regional cuisine,” said Chef Chai Chaowasaree.

Chef and restaurateur Roy Yamaguchi said it was especially sad the closure was the result of circumstances Wong could not control.

“It’s one thing if you have to close for lack of business acumen or something like that, but when you lose something that has been great for so long and has done so much for the state of Hawaii, you hate to see that happen,” Yamaguchi said.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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