BY JIM DOOLEY

A month after contradicting Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s position on a public records issue, Office of Information Practices Acting Director Cathy Takase has been given her walking papers by Abercrombie.

Donalyn Dela Cruz, Abercrombie’s spokeswoman, said Takase’s departure is unrelated to the legal disagreement she had with the administration.

“That’s completely irrelevant,” Dela Cruz said.

Takase was serving as acting director of the state Office of Information Practice.

She was given notice after Abercrombie took office that she could lose her job due to the change in administration, Dela Cruz said.

“She received a memo in February extending her term to March 4. That has now been extended at her request to March 18,” said Dela Cruz.

Takase could not be reached for comment today.

In early February, Takase said she believed Abercrombie’s refusal to release the names of candidates for appointment to the Hawaii Supreme Court was counter to the state public records law.

Takase said her position was based on a 2003 public records opinion written by then-OIP director Les Kondo.

“We believe she is wrong,” Dela Cruz said of Takase Feb. 8.

“We’ve been trying to call her about it but haven’t been able to reach her,” Dela Cruz told Hawaii Reporter in a Feb. 8 telephone interview.

Reached by telephone that same day, Takase said she had been “playing phone tag” with the administration on the issue.

Asked then if she felt her position on the judicial disclosure matter could adversely affect her chances of being named OIP director, Takase laughed politely but said nothing.

Dela Cruz said today that a new director of OIP has been selected but is still winding down his duties at another job. A formal announcement of the appointment will be made later, said Dela Cruz.

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com