State Ordered to Pay $70,000 for Costs of Star-Advertiser Lawsuit

Article excerpt

The state must pay about $70,000 for the Hono­lulu Star-Advertiser's attorney fees and costs for prevailing in its lawsuit against Gov. Neil Abercrombie for the release of the names of judicial candidates, a state judge ruled Friday.

Circuit Judge Karl Saka­moto granted a request by the newspaper in November for a judgment under the state open-rec­ords law ordering Abercrombie to make public the names of finalists submitted to him by the Judicial Selection Commission.

The governor had refused to disclose the names, saying it would have a "chilling effect," discouraging potential applicants who might not want their names released.

But Sakamoto ruled that the governor did not provide evidence to support his rationale and to exempt him under the state law requiring government rec­ords to be open to the public.

Abercrombie departed from the practices of the past two governors when he declined to release the list of judicial candidates last year.

In August the Star-Advertiser filed its lawsuit under the Uniform Information Practices Act, the open-rec­ords law, which led to the judge's November ruling. …