Primary problems to ponder: Officials knew workers would call in sick on voting day
From WHT 10-21-2012 with emphasis and commentary to enhance clarity:
Two days before the Aug. 11 primary, state and county officials were aware that a “blue flu” was about to hit the Hawaii County Elections Division, resulting in the election day absence of more than half of the permanent division staff....
“As you might surmise, the Office of Elections was understandably concerned to learn that the services of certain Hilo elections staff will not be available on election day,” state Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said in an Aug. 9 letter to Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi. “We now understand that you anticipated months ago that some election workers might not show up this week or on election day, and as such, you developed a backup plan.”
(In other words, Nago is writing a CYA letter to shift blame for his sabotage of the primary election. Actually Nago had to have known this April 17, 2012. Keep reading....)
The letter, among almost 400 pages of documents Nago’s office provided West Hawaii Today in partial fulfillment of an Oct. 5 public records request, went on to offer Kawauchi assistance if she needed it….
The original workers’ firings six months after Council Chairman Yagong and Kawauchi reportedly discovered evidence of alcohol use and a private business being run out of the county’s Makaala Street elections warehouse unleashed a firestorm of investigations, ethics complaints and lawsuits, some of which remain unresolved. Nakamoto and two other workers have been reinstated, although only one has returned to work. Another has taken a similar position on Kauai (congratulations, Kauai!) and Nakamoto remains on leave. One of the fired workers, warehouse manager Glen Shikuma, 59, died of an aneurysm Aug. 21.
Police Capt. Mitchell Kanehailua, who oversees the Hilo area Criminal Investigations Division, had told West Hawaii Today in June that police collected materials and information related to three allegations: trademark violations associated with possible counterfeit labels, second-degree theft of county resources and a county ethics code violation of fair treatment of county officers and employees, an allegation related to using county resources for campaign purposes.
(Yes. The fired workers, for whom the blue flu crowd was retaliating, were making campaign signs at the elections office warehouse. Hello? Hello?)
The case is in the hands of the county Prosecutor’s Office. (Note: If Lincoln Ashida is elected, the case will go nowhere and the criminals will continue to oversee our elections.)
The state’s election officials are a close-knit group, both on the county and state level. In fact, Nakamoto is in a live-in relationship with Nago’s old boss, former Chief Election Officer Dwayne Yoshina. Nago and elections administrators from the other counties leapt to Nakamoto’s defense in letters to Kenoi.
“Ms. Nakamoto has many years of experience and institutional knowledge in regards to the administering of elections in the County of Hawaii,” Nago said in an April 17 letter to Kenoi. “As the elections administrator for the County of Hawaii, Ms. Nakamoto has worked successfully with her counterparts in the Office of Elections and the other counties. To the extent her appeal results in her eventual reinstatement, it is clearly better that it occur as soon as possible so she may contribute to the successful execution of the 2012 elections.”
“My friends and I are adamant. We are not going to volunteer as long as (fired elections workers) are not reinstated or treated fairly,” said former County Clerk’s office employee and 20-year control center worker Arlene Waugh, in an April 18 letter to Kenoi. “Maybe our absences will not matter, but consider it our way of protesting as to the underhanded and evil ways of someone who seems to have something against these people.”
(Quick intelligence test: Are these two letters coincidental, or part of a coordinated effort? Willful suspension of disbelief is required to think Nago was not part of the blue flu effort.)
…on Oct. 2, Nago held a surprise news conference on Oahu, announcing the state was taking over Hawaii County’s General Election activities….
read … About Why Scott Nago Must be Fired
Hawaii County Election: It’s the Girlfriend, Stupid
HGEA Boss Randy Pereira defends Pat Nakamoto campaign activities on behalf of County Council candidates
FBI investigating? Sex, Lies and Retaliation at Big Island Election Office