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by John Charlton

(Sept. 30, 2009) — Recent public revelations by Attorney Leo Donofrio, that the office of Dr. Chiyome L. Fukino, the  Director of the Department of Health for the State of Hawaii, has a policy of obstructing and misdirecting citizens’ requests for information, in violation of Hawaiian Statutes, seem to have led to confusion and rout in the office of the director.

Attorney Donofrio has detailed the requests of TerryK in July, and her subsequent requests in September (part 1 & 2).  The Post & Email has also reported the request made last week by another citizen for index data & redacted records, which was also analyzed by Attorney Donofrio.

An analysis of the responses received from Janice S. Okubo, Communications Director at the Department of Health, indicates there is panic in the director’s office.

First, there are notable inconsistencies of response, ranging from misdirecting citizens who make requests, to outright denials that the laws allow what they allow; to interpretations of departmental policies as being more binding that Hawaii Statutes.

Second, when the second citizen fired back a letter of complaint, in response to the denial by Janice Okubo, it appears that two of the officials in the Director’s Office who received it — Katherine P. Kealoha and Noemi Pendleton — conveniently fled the office, setting their email programs to “auto reply”, with messages that they would be out of the office for some days.  Unwittingly, however, these auto-responders have confirmed that the correspondence was received by Janice Okubo; who as of this report, has continued to refuse to reply to the citizen’s legitimate request.

Moreover in the rejection received by this citizen, to the request made, Okubo sent a completed “Notice to Requester” Form, in PDF format, which bears the form identification note “OIP 4 (rev. 8/29/08)”.  In this form, amazingly, the reason for the denial given is as follows:

Cannot be granted because
___ Agency does not maintain the records. Agency believed to maintain records:
___ Agency needs a further description or clarification of the records requested. Please contact the agency
and provide the following information:
_X_ Request requires agency to create a summary or compilation from records not readily retrievable.

The reason given on the PDF form received by the citizen seems discordant with the email which contained it; this gives rise to further speculation that someone in the office staff is not willing to support Okubo’s text of denial with the same assertion.  Okubo’s denial read in part:

State law prohibits the Department of Health from disclosing any information about a Hawaii vital record unless the requestor has a direct and tangible interest in the record. This includes verification of vital records and all the information contained in a record.  Direct and tangible interest is determined by HRS §338-18(b) which can be found at: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol06_Ch0321-0344/HRS0338/HRS_0338-0018.htm

Considering that the request regarded the index data for the vital records mentioned in the July 28th press release, and the redacted vital records cited in that release (which release waived privacy rights to all readily released information:  such as name, place of birth, sex, citizenship of parents), such a categorization of the reason for the denial, on the PDF form, appears to have no veracity, for the following reasons:

1) The vital record index information is readily available in the modern electronic system installed several years ago under Dr. Fukino’s supervision.

2) The vital records themselves must be readily available, since Dr. Fukino has herself publically admitted to viewing them.

3) A redacted copy can quickly be released by her department, which contains no less that 3 printers for this purpose, according to another citizen who has requested a copy of their own vital record in the last 12 months, and confirmed this fact by phone, with an employee in the respective office.

Third, The Post & Email itself has made an information request to the Director’s office, and contrary to apparently normal procedures, no reply at all has been issued after 3 days.  The nature of this information request will be disclosed when the 10 day statutory waiting period has expired, or beforehand if a response is received.  If Dr. Fukino’s office does not respond by then, the revelations of what kind of information she would be refusing to disclose will shatter any credibility of impartiality on her part.

Finally, Attorney Donofrio has announced that he is preparing legal action on behalf of TerryK against Dr. Fukino and the Department of Health, using the full extent of Hawaii Law which protects, quite forcefully, the rights of the general public to information regarding certain kinds of requests; which requests have already been made or are about to be made.

The Post & Email calls on Governor Lingle and Dr. Fukino to put an end to any sort of undue reticence in this matter, and see to it that the staff of the Department of Health in Hawaii fully comply with Hawaiian Law, the UIPA guidelines, and professional ethics, for the good and tranquility of the Nation.

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  1. Well it is now the middle of October, I have received the “green card” back from the Hawai’i Dept of Health so I know Fukino got my request, and no response at all so far.

    Had an interesting thing happen though; took the 21 year old over to get a Pass Port recently. He was born by his mother who happened to be in California at the time so we have an abstract (COLB) and we have the long form. Any way went in to make application and they REFUSED to take the California abstract for the application as the SoS will ONLY accept the California long form. Asked about other states and apparently it is only California’s COLB they will not accept as a “Birth Certificate” for the purpose of PP applications.

  2. A sheriff can, with a case number, initiate an investigation and subpeona the records and HI authorities would have to comply.
    Is there just one Sheriff out there who would have what it takes to do this? So far, I haven’t found one but maybe you guys will have better luck. There sure are a lot of Sheriffs out there and maybe, just maybe, you know one.

  3. By declaring Obama a Natural born citizen in a press release, haven’t they already released information about Obama’s records? Hasn’t Fukino’s office already violated privacy laws by issuing the press release?
    Mr. Charlton replies: They have waived privacy, they have not, in my opinion, violated HI law, because the statute says information releases can be made when public interest warrents it. Obama is a person about whom there is intenst public interest, and rightfully. Ergo…

    See our previous report at


    for an explanation of the non-existence of threat of penalty…in this case…

  4. It is extremely clear to the great majority of persons in this nation and the world that neither the Obama administration, nor the State of Hawai’i, are even attempting to be trustworthy or honest in their dealings. I’ve never in all my long life witnessed such an obvious group of amateur deception artists working in any state’s government as “The Three Hawai’ian Stooges”, Fukino, Okubo, and Lingle. Many millions of Americans know full well that everyone involved in this massive deception, fraud, and sham will eventually be duly exposed, removed from their positions, prosecuted, and imprisoned. “It can’t happen”, you say? Be patient, justice, like a house fire, usually begins with a spark, then, before anyone realizes it, quickly achieves an unstoppable momentum. Very soon, the events of the Watergate scandal will seem miniscule by comparison. Barack “Pinocchio” Obama and his gang are foolishly attempting to hide his entire background from the Citizens of these United States – it will not work – we will not stop making inquiries and conducting investigations until we know every factual detail! As dripping water wears away stone, so shall we the people dissolve Obama’s facade. I predict that after every scintilla of hidden information has been publicly exposed and the evil doers are finally placed on trial, all those involved in the great Obama deception will suddenly develop horrible cases of Tourette’s syndrome, loud outbursts of profanity will accompany each and every breath they take. The first rat to jump ship, go to the authorities, and confess the whole truth will be given immunity, the remainder will rightfully be carted away to prison in government issued orange garments and silver accessories. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  5. Sounds like it might help to make the requests for verification of index data specific to a single datum per request. That way HI could not use the “summary or compilation” excuse to deny the request.

  6. I am in the “process” shall we say to inspect the front and back of my son’s original birthing document created and certified by Tripler Army Medical Center and obtain a certified copy of same all pursuant to 338-18(b)4. I initially talked to “Onaka” who stated to me “we don’t do that anymore” though he acknowledged the original document would have been certified by a TAMC administrator, sent to the state and then would be held to this day in an archive. So I wrote a letter to Onaka to get the denial in writing – for obvious reasons – mailed it in Hawai’i in August and got no response.

    So last week I enclosed a copy of the Onaka letter with a cover letter to F$kina and sent it USPS CRR with a request for a ten (10) business day response from the date of service.

    I keep you all posted.


  7. Excellent article, and thank you.

    To borrow a phrase from the left: The chickens are coming home to roost!

    Keep the investigation going, and the pressure on. Violations of the law will not be tolerated.

  8. Leo Donofrio writes:

    Great Job on this. You should also know that the UIPA and case law is very clear that the response given to your reader on that form is improper…

    §2-71-14 (c)(3)

    (3) The request requires the agency to create a summary or compilation of information from records that is not readily retrievable.


    But read the UIPA at….



    (c) Unless the information is readily retrievable by the agency in the form in which it is requested, an agency shall not be required to prepare a compilation or summary of its records.”

    You see that, if the information is readily retrievable then they can’t rely on that provision. This was also discussed in the Hawaii Supreme Court case


    83 Haw. 378; 927 P.2d 386; 1996 Haw. LEXIS 156; 154 L.R.R.M. 2373

    “In a related argument, the City, relying on HRS § 92F-11(c), asserts that the circuit court committed reversible error by ordering the City to create a roster of disciplined employees. The City’s argument is patently meritless. HRS § 92F-11(c) provides that “unless the information is readily retrievable by the agency in the form in which it is requested, an agency shall not be required to prepare a compilation or summary of its records.” The circuit court’s order granting summary judgment, as modified by its June 16, 1994 order, [***51] states that “the HPD may either produce a summary of the information requested or produce all documents pertaining to the subject matter, using whichever method of disclosure the HPD deems more expedient.” (Emphases added.) Clearly, the City was not ordered to create a “roster.” Accordingly, we discern no error. ”

    They used this same tactic against TerriK, but on that form they were so very devious by checking two boxes. They checked the denial box for her entire list of requests…and that would mean they had the documents but are not allowing access. And they also checked the box for the list/summary thing. That response is not a denial of access, it’s a denial that they have the means to retrieve the records requested.

    Nice report. This isn’t right. I have UIPA requests pending as well. Will publish those soon.