- Law Cases
by John Charlton
(Dec. 22, 2009) — By now it is 5:00 pm in Honolulu, Hawaii. And the offices of the Department of Health are closed. So The Post & Email can go public with the fact that the Department is in open violation of Hawaii Law regarding the request made by its editor, Mr. John Charlton, on Sept. 27, 2009, and which on Dec. 8, 2009, the Office of Information Practices warned them of the violation and demanded they respond to the request by Dec. 21st.
The request I made did not regard Barack Hussein Obama’s vital records. And that is what makes Dr. Fukino’s refusal to respond to it all the more revealing.
What my request did refer to, was documentation which Hawaii Law clearly indicates must be disclosed to the public; documentation, which regards the manner in which the Department of Health conducts its public business.
Here is the noxious request, that the citizen “dared” file with Janice Okubo, on Sept. 27th:
Dear Mrs. Okubo,
I am writing to request some information in accord with Hawaii Rev. Statutes §92F-12
§92F-12 Disclosure required. (a) Any other provision in this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, each agency shall make available for public inspection and duplication during regular business hours:
(1) Rules of procedure, substantive rules of general applicability, statements of general policy, and interpretations of general applicability adopted by the agency;
(2) Final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders made in the adjudication of cases, except to the extent protected by section 92F-13(1);
The specifc information I am requesting is the following:
1. All Rules of procedure, substantive rules of general applicability, statements of general policy, and interpretations of general applicability adopted by the your agency, which regard the maintenance and disclosure, or non-disclosure, of original vital records, and index data for the same.
2. All final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, given by any officer, employee or by the responsible decision making entity, in your department, regarding divulging of information regarding original vital records, regarding press inquiries pertaining to original vital records, and regarding public statements made by the Director or Communications director regarding any original vital record or requests for its release made by those adjudged by the Director not to have direct personal interest in the records.
3. All Rules of procedure, substantive rules of general applicability, statements of general policy, and interpretations of general applicability adopted by your agency, which regard the request for any opinion sought by your office from the Hawaii Attorney General’s office regarding the observance of Hawaiian Law, and/or the observance of Federal Law, and/or the observance of the Constitutional requirements of office for those candidates on the ballot for federal offices, in Hawaii, and/or which regard any particular matter for which you might request counsel from the Hawaii Attorney General’s office.
4. All final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, given by any employee or officer, or by the responsible decision making entity, in your department, which regard the public identification of the citizenship status (whether natural born, native, statutory, or naturalized, American or foreign or otherwise), which any employee or officer in your department might make publicly or privately, in their official capacity, about anyone whose vital record is maintained by your department.
Mr. John Charlton
On December 8th, the Office for Information Practices put the Department of Health on notice, with this letter:
Dear Ms. Okubo:
The Office of Information Practices (“OIP”) has received a request for assistance from Mr. John Charlton with respect to his request made under part II of the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), chapter 92F, Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) (“UIPA”), for access to documents pertaining to operations and procedures. Mr. Charlton has indicated that he made a written request to the Department of Health (“DOH”) dated September 27, 2009, and that he has not yet received a response from DOH. Copies of Mr. Charlton’s request to OIP and his record request to the DOH are enclosed for your information.
Under OIP’s administrative rules, an agency must respond to a written UIPA request for access to government records within a reasonable time, not to exceed ten business days. Haw. Admin. R § 2-71-13 (1999). Given the length of time since Mr. Charlton’s request, please provide the required response to Mr. Charlton within that same time frame. Id.: Haw. Admin. R. §§ 2-71-14, 2-71-15 (1999). Specifically, if denying access, DOH should (1) specify the record, or parts, that will not be disclosed; and (2) cite the agency’s specific legal authorities under which access is denied under section 92-F-13, HRS,* and other laws. Haw. Admin. R § 2-71-14. Please also provide OIP with notice of the action taken by the agency.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance in this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or require assitance.
Very truly yours,
Linden H. Joesting
* The UIPA also provides generally that where compliance with any provision of UIPA would cause an agency to lose or be denied funding or other assistance from the federal government, compliance with that provision shall be waived but only to the extent necessary to protect eligibility for such federal assistance. Haw. Rev. Stat. §92F-4 (1993).
Ms. Jancie Okubo has completely ignored this letter, since I have not received any reply from her office within the 10 days specified.
You can examine for yourselves the importance of my request; and speculate why the Department of Health has consistently refused to respond to something so patently legal and proper.
In addition, note the footnote which Attorney Joesting added to her letter. It seems to indicate that she has spoken with Okubo before, and that Okubo is denying my UIPA request because she fears a backlash from the White House.
They cannot deny the request I made, because it would have no supporting legal authority. They cannot grant it, if they are hiding something untoward, which in granting it, would be revealed; and which in being revealed, would cause Obama’s tyrannical rage to pour forth its venom against the Hawaii Department of Health’s future budget’s bottom line.
Continued silence in this matter only indicts Dr. Fukino and Janice Okubo in conspiracy to obviate their legal responsibilities. If they are being threatened by the White House, they need to come clean. If the documents show Obama is a liar, they need to come clean. If the documents I requested show that they have not been straightforward with the American Public, they need to realize that releasing them will make lighter any future punishment a court will impose.
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Tags: Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Haw. Admin. R § 2-71-13 (1999), Haw. Admin. R. § 2-71-14, Haw. Admin. R. § 2-71-14 (1999), Haw. Admin. R. § 2-71-15 (1999), HI Department of Health, HI Office of Information Practices, HI OIP, HRS 92F, Janice Okubo, Linden H. Joesting, UIPA, UIPA request of Sept. 27 2009