RETALIATION: Did Gov. Abercrombie exceed his legal authority in making OIP staff appointment, blocking Takase from returning to Civil Service?
ILind: Gov. Lingle was apparently unable to recruit a new director for what would have been a short, lame-duck appointment, and the office could continue to function only because staff attorney Cathy Takase agreed to serve as acting director.
Typically, someone like Takase could step back into their former staff job once a new director was appointed.
But Gov. Abercrombie’s office just appointed another person to that vacant OIP staff attorney job, apparently without legal authority, since the statute gives all authority for hiring to the director.
And it was that appointment, which filled a vacant staff attorney position, that prevented the option of letting the acting director return to her former staff job once a new director is appointed.
And it’s disturbing that this is playing about against the backdrop of the governor’s continued insistence that he will not follow OIP’s legal advice that names of potential nominees on the “short list” for judicial appointments must be made public.
CB: Abercrombie Fires Head of Open Records Agency
In February, Takase told the governor he would be violating state law if he continued to withhold the list of judicial nominees to fill a vacancy on the Hawaii Supreme Court. Several news outlets, including Civil Beat, had requested that information, which has not been made public.
Asked if the change in OIP leadership should be interpreted as the governor's dissatisfaction with Takase's work or any recent opinion, Dela Cruz said: "Oh no. There isn't any of that. It's just truly a timing issue."
Dela Cruz (rejected) the idea that Takase was fired, saying that her term had ended Friday. In fact, according to state law, while the governor does indeed appoint OIP's director, that appointee does not have a set term length.... (ooops!)
AP: Abercrombie replacing acting information practices head who crossed him on judicial nominees
Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said Friday a transition would be taking place this month. Dela Cruz says she isn't able to disclose who the appointee is because paperwork is being processed. (More secrecy and more lame excuses.)
SA: Official who called for disclosure of judge nominees being replaced (Star-Advertiser repeats "term was up" lie.)
The term of acting director Cathy Takase of the Office of Information Practices expired yesterday, and she will be replaced by a director who will take over March 18.
Donalyn Dela Cruz, the governor's spokeswoman, said the timing might appear to be "questionable," but said the decision to replace Takase is not related to her opinion about the judicial candidates' names.
"It's irrelevant," Dela Cruz said. ("Irrelevant" is the Administration term for anybody who disagrees with The Abercrombie.)
ILind: OIP director dismissed by Abercrombie administration
In another potentially controversial move, the administration has reached down into the OIP staff to directly appoint a staff attorney. Linden Joesting, who had previously served in a similar position, was appointed this week. (Joesting is an escaped Clayton Hee staffer.--AW) The move is unusual because such staff appointments are typically made by the OIP director.
Best Comment: Section 92F-41 provides that the Governor appoints the director but that the office is administratively attached to the Lt. Governor’s office. It also says that the Director shall appoint staff. Why is the GOV micro managing and beyond that, he does not have the legal authority to hire staff, much less the Lt. Gov. Shouldn’t someone be asking Brian Schatz what the hell is going on?
PART IV. OFFICE OF INFORMATION PRACTICES; DUTIES
§92F-41 Office of information practices; established. (a) There is established a temporary office of information practices for a special purpose within the office of the lieutenant governor for administrative purposes.
(b) The governor shall appoint a director of the office of information practices to be its chief executive officer and who shall be exempt from chapter 76. (Nothing about any term of office here, eh?)
(c) All powers and duties of the office of information practices are vested in the director and may be delegated to any other officer or employee of the office.
(d) The director may employ any other personnel that are necessary, including but not limited to attorneys and clerical staff without regard to chapter 76. [L 1988, c 262, pt of §1; am L 1989, c 192, §9; am L 1998, c 137, §4; am L 2000, c 253, §150]