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Friday, March 13, 2020
Supreme Court Clears Way for Release of Secret Report on Wrongdoing in State Auditor's Office
By Court House News @ 3:45 PM :: 1830 Views :: Ethics

Public Record

From Court House News, March 11, 2020

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Supreme Court overturned a ruling in favor of the state’s attorney general in a public-records dispute brought by the Honolulu Civil Beat relating to a report of an investigation of the Office of the Legislative Auditor.  

PDF: Supreme Court Order  “…We therefore vacate the circuit court’s final judgment and its order granting the Department’s motion for summary judgment and denying Civil Beat’s cross motion for summary judgment and remand this case for proceedings consistent with this opinion….”

  *   *   *   *   *

Civil Beat Sues Hawaii Attorney General Over Secret Auditor Report

From Civil Beat, September 15, 2016

… Honolulu Civil Beat filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Department of the Attorney General in an attempt to free up records related to the agency’s investigation of alleged wrongdoing inside the Office of the Auditor.

The attorney general’s office has refused to publicly release documents related to its inquiry, although it has shared its final investigative reports with certain state legislators, including Senate President Ron Kouchi.

Kouchi has declined to talk about the investigation or the AG’s findings….

What’s known is that the investigation took place while Jan Yamane was the acting state auditor. Yamane was assigned to that position in December 2012 after the retirement of longtime auditor Marion Higa.

In April (2016), the Legislature voted to replace Yamane with former Hawaii State Ethics Commission Executive Director Les Kondo. It was a curious move at the time given Kondo’s often fractious relationship with legislators, and in particular House Speaker Joe Souki.

Yamane is now the executive director of the Honolulu Ethics Commission….

read … Secret Auditor Report

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