Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie
There is no evidence that there were problems with the work of Dr. Neal Palafox, who had been chosen by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie to replace Chiyome Fukino, the woman best known to the rest of the nation as the guardian of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
That’s according to an attorney representing Palafox, Brook Hart.
WND reported earlier that the minority leader in Hawaii’s state Senate accused Abercrombie of politicizing the health department by nominating, then apparently asking for the resignation, of Palafox.
Sen. Sam Slom, the only Republican in the state Senate, said he is convinced Abercrombie asked Palafox to withdraw because the nominee dismissed two health agency workers who were politically connected.
Slom said he does not believe Palafox was dropped for refusing to allow Abercrombie to search for Obama’s birth records, but he also said he’s be happy to use the situation “as a shoehorn to get for the public any Obama birth records the Hawaii Department of Health has.”
Today, Hart told WND that Palafox has no idea why Abercrombie asked him to withdraw. He said there is no evidence that would prove Abercrombie made his decision in response to the firing of the two employees.
Hart also said Abercrombie’s decision has nothing to do with Abercrombie’s search for Obama’s birth records.
“Neal has no information on Obama’s birth records,” Hart said.
“There is no hard evidence why Abercrombie made the decision,” Hart said. “Neal Palafox knows of no investigation proceeding against him. No subpoenas have been issued by any investigative body, no interviews have been conducted by investigators.”
Hart said that at this point his office is not considering filing any litigation, but that he would do so if anyone made statements that defamed or were libelous in relation to Dr. Palafox’s professional conduct.
He stressed that Palafox has had a long and distinguished medical career – he is the chairman of his department at the University of Hawaii and Palafox has a successful and highly respected medical practice in Hawaii.
“Neal is a highly competent professional,” Hart said, “and his desire to accept the nomination to direct the Hawaii Department of Health was made not in an effort to enrich or aggrandize himself, but to help the people of Hawaii.”
Hart said Palafox would like a reason for the governor’s actions.
State Sen. Sam Slom
“Neal wants to know and he is waiting to find out,” he said. “There has been a lot of speculation regarding Gov. Abercrombie’s motives,” Hart said, “but to date, we have no hard evidence to substantiate why the decision was made.”
A report from KITV Channel 4 said Hart revealed Palafox was reducing a “controversial” state health department program at the governor’s request when he was asked to leave.
That process involved the elimination of 22 positions, including two supervisors who were laid off, the report said.
It involved a mental health services billing process that ex-Gov. Linda Lingle apparently launched using some $16 million in state health department funding.
The report said the two employees laid off included Dewey Kim, the former executive director of the Honolulu Liquor Commission, and Joanne Hao, a contracting manager.
Hart said Palafox knew neither personally.
Palafox now has returned to his tenured position at the University of Hawaii Medical School, where he is chief of the Family Practice and Community Health division.
Slom said there are questions to be answered.
“I don’t understand why Obama has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep all his records from the public — not just his Hawaii birth records, but his passport records and his school records. All Obama’s records should be public, including any Hawaii birth records that exist.”
Slom said Abercrombie did conduct a search for Obama birth records – he wasn’t sure if Abercrombie looked himself, or if he sent someone to search the records.
He said he believes Abercrombie thought he could come into office and do Obama a great favor by putting an end to Obama’s birth controversy.
But the inability to produce any documents after vows to the New York Times and other news organizations only added fuel to the fire. The dismissal of Dr. Palafox has also stirred rumors about a possible connection to the birth certificate drama.
The latest development comes as well-connected sources in Hawaii are warning that certain government officials in the state have been contemplating releasing fraudulent birth records for Obama in the run-up to the 2012 election. At least 11 states are currently considering legislation that would require future presidential candidates to prove constitutional eligibility by proving they are “natural born citizens.”
Some of the bills under review in legislatures across the U.S. would require candidates to provide a long-form birth certificate – a document Obama has steadfastly denied the public and the press. His 2008 campaign offered only a certification of live birth, a short-form digital document that skeptics insist could be generated without an actual Hawaiian birth taking place. But the generation of the short-form document, by a simple affidavit from a family member, would have triggered the newspaper birth announcements that have been used by some to corroborate Obama’s birth story.
The blogosphere is rife with speculation that Abercrombie dispatched Palafox as health director because he was unable to produce evidence supporting Abercrombie’s repeated claims Obama was born at Kapi’olani Medical Center.