PREVIOUS DIRECTOR MAINTAINED PUBLIC CALENDAR
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 25, 2013) — According to the Hawaii Attorney General’s office, Director of Health Loretta Fuddy does not keep a public calendar and her activities and whereabouts are reportedly not available during the time she is allegedly working for the people of Hawaii.
In July 2011, The Post & Email requested a copy of Fuddy’s public work schedule under the Hawaii Open Records, or UIPA, law. Previously, The Post & Email’s founder, John Charlton, had requested and received the same item from the former Health Director, Dr. Chiyome Fukino.
Fukino’s term ended when Gov. Neil Abercrombie was elected in November 2010. The Director of Health is a cabinet-level position within the Executive branch of Hawaii’s government.
Our UIPA request for Fuddy’s schedule was denied on August 3, 2011, after which we appealed to the Office of Information Practices (OIP), which is the standard procedure.
To: Atty. Linden Joesting, Office of Information Practices, State of Hawaii
From: Sharon Rondeau, Editor, The Post & Email, Inc.
Date: August 13, 2011
RE: Denial of UIPA Request
I am hereby filing an appeal of a denial issued to me in response to my request for the public work schedule of Loretta Fuddy, Director of the Department of Health, for the time frame July 11 through August 8, 2011. The denial form references “OIP Opinion 04-17” which was not enclosed with the denial form and pertains to “city officials,” not “state officials.” Loretta Fuddy is a state employee.
Moreover, another requester was granted a copy of the public calendar for Dr. Chiyome Fukino, former Health Department Director, just last year. The documentation can be found here:
If Dr. Fukino’s public schedule was made available last year to Mr. Charlton, why is Ms. Fuddy’s calendar from this year off-limits?
I will appreciate your review of this appeal and your response at your earliest convenience. I have attached the denial letter to this correspondence.
The Post & Email, Inc.
Having heard nothing back from the OIP, we sent the following email to Joesting on September 9, 2011:
Hello, I wrote to you several weeks ago regarding a UIPA request I had made which was denied in its entirety. I sent you all of the documentation but will do so again if you need it.
I had requested a copy of the public work schedule of Loretta Fuddy, Director of the Department of Health, from July 11, 2011 to August 8, 2011. The Department of Health responded that her calendar was not considered to be a government record, referring to OIP Opinion 04-17, which states that private calendars and phone messages are not government records.
However, I am not seeking a private or personal calendar of Ms. Fuddy’s. Rather, I am requesting her publicly-available schedule which is most likely generated by a computer as Dr. Fukino’s appeared to be. You may recall that Dr. Fukino’s public calendar was released to us under the UIPA law about 18 months ago. What makes this request any different?
I will appreciate hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
The Post & Email
On September 16, we received the following response:
Good morning, Atty. Joesting, thank you for your response to my appeal for denial of records regarding Ms. Fuddy’s work schedule. Yes, I would like an opinion letter.
I find it hard to believe that a state employee would never have to reveal her whereabouts in order to be accountable to the people she serves. Frankly, I do not believe Ms. Fuddy does not have a printed work schedule to which other Department of Health employees could refer in order to coordinate meetings and public appearances. I have attached the request which was granted in its entirety as well as the work schedule we received of former Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino which indicated indicated any meetings, talks or conferences she was attending or giving.
If Ms. Fuddy cannot make her business hours accountable to the people, what does that say about openness in the Hawaii government? Everything appears to be very secretive. What are people hiding?
Thank you very much.
The Post & Email
to which Joesting responded on the same day:
Dear Ms. Rondeau,
Thank you for your reply. Your opinion request will be addressed after other cases, which were received before your case, are resolved.
Linden H. Joesting
Office of Information Practices
State of Hawaii
No. 1 Capitol District Building
250 S. Hotel St., Suite 107
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Web site: www.hawaii.gov/oip
We next heard from the OIP on August 22, 2012:
On May 24, The Post & Email received a letter dated May 8, 2013 from Hawaii Deputy Attorney General Jill T. Nagamine, who has represented the government in several instances in which information about Obama’s birth records was requested. Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo spoke with Nagamine during his investigation of Obama’s long-form birth certificate after access to Registrar Dr. Alvin Onaka was denied.
On March 1, 2012, the posse announced that the birth certificate image posted on the White House website on April 27, 2011 was a “computer-generated forgery.” On July 17, 2012, Zullo stated at a second press conference that the standard of probable cause had been exceeded regarding the image and since then, has been attempting to engage state and federal-level officials in launching their own investigation into the forgery.
Zullo told The Post & Email in an interview that the registrar’s stamp on the image “takes the thing out.” PPSimmons announced on Thursday that Zullo will be attending a significant meeting in the near future at which he has been asked to speak about some of the evidence he has compiled on the forgery.
Nagamine also represented to Judge Rhonda Nishimura in Honolulu Circuit Court that the brother of a baby girl, Virginia Sunahara, born on August 4, 1961 who died the following day was not entitled to a certified copy of his sister’s long-form birth certificate at the discretion of the Health Department. Douglas Vogt, a scanning expert who filed a criminal complaint with the FBI after reporting Obama’s long-form birth certificate as a forgery, told The Post & Email that Nagamine said in court, “This is all about the Obama case,” referring to the suspicion that Virginia’s birth certificate could have been used to forge Obama’s.
The brother, Duncan Sunahara, was provided a short-form certificate for his sister with a number out of sequence with those appearing on Obama’s and the Nordyke twins from early August 1961.
Whether or not employees at the Hawaii Department of Health were involved in creating the forgery has yet to be determined.
In Nagamine’s recent letter, which was addressed to OIP attorney Linden Joesting and copied to The Post & Email, she states that Fuddy “only keeps a personal calendar, on which she marks personal appointments and social engagements as well as official meetings. She is not required by her position to keep a public calendar to document her official functions, nor does she do so.”
As a state employee, Fuddy receives “a competitive compensation package. In addition to salary, which is an important part of the compensation package, an employee may be eligible for a broad range of valuable benefits, such as comprehensive health care insurance, life insurance, retirement programs, sick leave, vacation leave and paid holidays.”
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.