Friday, April 03, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, February 03, 2013
DoTax Employees Secretly Arrested, Fired
By Andrew Walden @ 12:40 PM :: 7769 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government, Law Enforcement, Tax Credits, Taxes

DoTax Employees Secretly Arrested, Fired

by Andrew Walden

In the former Soviet Union, underground journalists risked their lives to publish ‘Samizdat’ news--often plucking crumbs of information from the state-owned media, reading between the lines to tell tales not otherwise revealed in the official press.  In Hawaii, we find ourselves picking through the “Whatever Happened to…” column in the Star Advertiser.

On January 31, we were treated to this tender morsel:

QUESTION: Whatever happened with the state investigation of internal security breaches in the state Department of Taxation’s computer database discovered in 2011, and which resulted in disciplinary action against some employees?

ANSWER: A number of tax department employees who were investigated in connection with the security breaches have been “arrested and relieved of their duties,” said state Rep. John Mizuno, vice chairman of the House Legislative Management Committee, which is monitoring the case.

Mizuno said he spoke with members of the governor’s information technology staff, but said he didn’t have additional details of the investigation, such as the number of employees arrested.

The department announced on Dec. 15, 2011, that an audit uncovered breaches of its computer database going back at least to 2008. The department said it referred the matter to the state attorney general and had placed employees on unpaid administrative leave.

Mallory Fujitani, department spokeswoman, said this month that 21 department employees were investigated, up from the 14 originally reported.

Fujitani said she could not say if the employees are back at work, still on leave or no longer with the department.

Why were DoTax employees arrested and by whom?  When were they arrested? And what are they charged with?  The scandal has been brewing since at least 2008 with only the most cursory and sporadic interest from the ‘official’ media.  Five years later there are no answers to these questions.  Samizdat-style, writers are left with is a trail of crumbs starting with a December 15, 2011 news release from the Governor’s office:

The Department of Taxation has referred to the Department of the Attorney General possible internal security breaches for review and investigation. Governor Neil Abercrombie today released the following statement:

“To the extent that any wrongful activity has taken place, anyone who has participated in or has had knowledge of these activities that date back to at least 2008 will be brought to account.

“The Department of Taxation and the Department of the Attorney General will be taking the necessary actions as deemed appropriate.”

The akamai reader will note that this short and information-free announcement purports to identify the problem, identify the culprits, and pronounce sentence -- without actually identifying anybody or anything.

A short, cryptic Star-Advertiser article added:

The state Department of Taxation announced today that it has placed several workers on administrative leave without pay this week, following the discovery of an internal security breach of the department's tax database.

The breach was found during an audit of the department's security systems and internal controls this year, department officials said. The incidents occurred at least as far back as 2008 and were referred to the state Attorney General's office for investigation, they said….

Donalyn Dela Cruz, spokeswoman for Gov. Neil Abercrombie, said the breach was an "internal matter" and "preliminarily, there is no need for the public to feel that their information has been breached."

Where do the trails lead?  There are five possibilities:

1) The year 2008 also pops up in a report by then-State Auditor Marian Higa: “Audit fuels “clinically psychotic” HGEA effort to strangle tax collection.”

2) As Abercrombie pushed massive tax hikes through the 2010 legislative session, DoTax lost and then found $134M.  The timing allowed Abercrombie to scream ‘poverty’ while tax hikes were debated and then quietly clean up the accounting after legislators had done the deed.  Here are the details: 

3) October 3, 2011: Why Stop at $500K? DoTAX Quietly Multiplies Hawaii Solar Tax Credit

4) June 24, 2012: Audit: State Gave Away $1B Act 221 Tax Credits Without Verification of Eligibility

5) Some other alleged criminal activity within the Department coming under the rubric of “internal security breach of the department's tax database.”

---30---

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT