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Official who called for disclosure of judge nominees being replaced

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 2:26 p.m. HST, Mar 4, 2011

The state official who suggested the names of judicial candidates must be released under the state open records law will be replaced by an appointee of Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Cathy Takase, acting director of the Office of Information Practices, said she was notified this week that she will be replaced.

Donalyn Dela Cruz, the governor’s spokeswoman, said Takase’s stance on the judicial names was not a factor in the governor’s decision to appoint a replacement.

Dela Cruz said Takase’s term ended today.

Takase has been acting director since November 2009.

She said she had applied for the directorship and was not given a reason why she is being replaced. But she said, "Whenever a new administration comes in, they will appoint a new director."

She said she asked for an extension and her last day will be March 18.

Abercrombie has refused to release the names of other candidates for a Hawaii Supreme Court judgeship on a list submitted to him by the Judicial Selection Commission.

The governor picked Sabrina McKenna from the list. McKenna was sworn in yesterday as an associate justice on the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Takase wrote a letter last month saying the reason for a governor to refuse disclosing the names would end when the judicial nominee is confirmed by the state Senate.

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