Saturday, November 04, 2006


Attorney General to BOE: Release the votes

In Hawaii, the Attorney General represents the state departments in legal matters. I've always felt that this was odd, because the AG should be the people's attorney... but nevermind. So the AG is the BOE's attorney.

On Thursday the AG reached an agreement with the Office of Information Practices and concluded that the votes in the secret session that resulted in the firing of Jim Shon should be immediately released.

Most people would take the advice of their attorney you'd think. But not our Board of Education. Are they above the law? Or as today's Star-Bulletin editorial asks perhaps deridingly:
What is it about "immediately" that the board does not understand?
At the very least, the Board could use a lesson in civics. And in public relations. The editorial also noted that many people are following this issue:
Shon has a following of supporters who want to know which board members voted for his firing and would like to retaliate at voting booths next Tuesday. They should have that prerogative.
Well, the BOE has not contacted me at all since the initial request for public records. The law obligated them to say something within 10 days. I'm still waiting, of course, but no longer holding my breath.

If you are confused by the large number of people running for the Board of Education and having trouble choosing whom to vote for, you might consider cutting out this list of Board members present at the illegal meeting where Jim Shon was fired. So far, not one of them has come forward to say that they did not vote for the firing. So make your own assumptions if this is an important issue to you. Snip on the outline and take it with you to the voting booth as a guide.

Recent articles: Honolulu Advertiser Nov. 3, Star Bulletin Nov. 3, Star-Bulletin Nov. 4, Star-Bulletin editorial Nov. 4 If there was any coverage on Neighbor Islands, someone please let me know so I can post it here.


Well, maybe we should call them and tell them we will all assume that all the members present voted to fire Jim. There would be no legal ramification if any board member present wanted to publicly say they voted against the termination. At this point if your quiet, your guilty, as far as I'm concerned. And I won't vote for a single one of the candidates on this list.

I don't understand why the OIP does not simply release the redacted minutes itself. In the opinion letter it mentions them as an attachment. Now that the BOE has obviously blown them off and intends to stall past Tuesday, the OIP should simply release the redacted minutes and voting records on Monday and let the chips fall where they may.

The OIP can't release documents on its own. As I understand it, they redacted the minutes themselves as a service to the BOE to facilitate release of the minutes before election. It was expedient, I guess, to just take a black marker and fix things up rather than write "on page 3, take out lines 14-16" and stuff like that.

So they made it easy for the BOE.

But the choice of whether to release, appeal, do nothing, or whatever, rests with the BOE.

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