OIP Director: "I Was Terminated."

Hawaii Office of Information Practices

Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration has said that the director of the state's open records agency was not fired, but rather her appointment had come to an end.

Reached by phone Wednesday, former Office of Information Practices Director Cathy Takase disagreed.

"I was terminated," she said.

"When the new administration had come in, I had volunteered to stay and continue to serve until a permanent director was appointed. My understanding was that I would go back to my staff attorney position."

Takase's dismissal is not the only time the governor has tried to micromanage the agency charged with enforcing the state's public records and sunshine laws. A week earlier the governor stepped over the line by personally appointing a staff attorney to the office. He has the authority to appoint the director, but not staff.

The flurry of personnel activity at the agency came after Takase stood up to the governor and made public a letter stating that it would be illegal for him to continue withholding the list of judicial nominees to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Abercrombie's office says her termination and OIP's assessment of his actions aren't related. It has not released the list, and insists it won't.

Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said she was surprised to hear Takase used the word "terminated."

"She's saying that? She's still looking for work. I know she found a position she wanted" within state government, Dela Cruz said. "I know she applied."

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