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OIP Director Leaving Office
By News Release @ 4:50 PM :: 1280 Views :: Ethics, First Amendment, Hawaii State Government

OIP DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

News Release from OIP, Mar 25, 2024

The Director of the State Office of Information Practices (OIP) will be retiring from OIP at the end of March 2024.  Supervising Staff Attorney Carlotta Amerino will become OIP’s Acting Director in April.

Cheryl Kakazu Park is OIP’s longest-serving Director, having been initially appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie in April 2011 and reappointed by Governor David Ige in 2014 and 2018 and by Governor Josh Green, M.D., in 2022.  She has overcome increased workloads and limited resources to lead the office to resolve 97% of all new cases received in FY 2023 within the same year they were filed, and specifically, 90% of them within one work-day.

Over the years, Ms. Park has led OIP to improve, expand, and continually update its online training resources to educate and be readily accessible to State and county government employees, board volunteers, and the general public, including people with disabilities.  Through free and easy access to online education and to timely informal advice provided by its staff attorneys, OIP serves as an important resource for fair and impartial information regarding Hawaii’s open meetings (Sunshine Law) and open records (UIPA) laws.  While prevention through education and Attorney of the Day advice is a top priority, disputes are quickly resolved at early stages through OIP’s informal intervention, while more contentious legal or factual questions are decided in objective opinions that are carefully researched and written to withstand potential judicial review.  Under Park’s leadership, OIP also successfully initiated or participated in major changes or projects, including:

  • 2012 legislation regarding appeals to OIP
  • 2012 adoption of OIP’s new appeals rules
  • 2012 recognition of OIP as the State’s “Team of the Year”
  • 2013 deployment of the UIPA Record Request Log
  • 2013 addition of an attorney position to help implement the State’s Open Data Policy
  • 2013 development of OIP’s first accredited continuing legal education seminars
  • 2015-16 administrative transfer of OIP from a temporary to a permanent home within the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS)
  • 2017 legislation amending the Sunshine Law to provide for board packets, recorded minutes, and electronic notices on State and county online calendars
  • 2017-19 development of and public comments on OIP’s draft administrative rules
  • 2021 sponsorship of Sunshine Law amendments allowing meetings to be held online
  • 2022 overhaul of OIP training materials to reflect new Sunshine Law remote meeting provisions and other amendments
  • 2022 support of the interim work group charged by Senate Concurrent Resolution 192 (2022 session) to develop a new UIPA exception to improve government decisionmaking
  • 2023 legislative approval for a staff attorney position and OIP legal assistant position
  • 2024 launch of OIP’s “NEWS: Fact or Fiction” webpage to educate people about the dangers and increasing prevalence of misinformation and how to distinguish between facts and fiction

As an independent and neutral State agency, OIP is now fully staffed and ready to continue its work with the following capable team:  attorneys Carlotta Amerino, Jennifer Brooks, Edith Feldman, Lori Kato, Tiara Maumau, and Robert Shimizu, and administrative staff Zoe Abrams, Kelly Gatioan, Michael Little, and Rae-Lynn Thomas.  “Mahalo to my wonderful team for their hard work and professionalism in making all these accomplishments possible,” said Ms. Park.  “I leave OIP with the assurance that they will continue to provide excellent and timely service to the people of Hawai`i and to faithfully and impartially administer the laws in accordance with OIP’s mission:  Ensuring open government while protecting individual privacy.”

---30---

CB: The Sunshine Blog: Bidding Aloha To Cheryl Park

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