Not a surprise at all. A main point of my column today is the fact that this guy appears to be protected, or at the very least, isn’t being considered a problem. Perhaps now he will be.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency “button pusher” who sent a bogus missile alert that triggered panic across the islands on Jan. 13 is not cooperating with either a Federal Communications Commission investigation nor two internal investigations.
“We are quite pleased with the level of cooperation we have received from the leadership of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency thus far,” Lisa Fowlkes, the FCC’s Homeland Security Bureau chief, testified today at a Senate hearing on the missile alert incident. “We are disappointed, however, that one key employee, the person who transmitted the false alert, is refusing to cooperate with our investigation. We hope that person will reconsider.”
The FCC sent two investigators to Honolulu but got no cooperation from the HI-EMA employee, Fowlkes said.
The unidentified “warning officer” — an exempt, union employee — also is not cooperating with two internal HI-EMA investigations, one looking into the events of Jan. 13 and another probing the agency’s overall operations, according to Lt. Col. Chuck Anthony, spokesman for Hawaii’s Department of Defense, which overseas HI-EMA.
The employee has since been reassigned to an unspecified job at HI-EMA but has not returned to work since the incident, Anthony said.
The employee gave a written statement on Jan. 13 but is no longer cooperating, Anthony said.
“Initially he did provide a statement of his actions that day, but now he is not cooperating,” Anthony said. “He’s choosing not to have further engagement with other employees at the Emergency Management Agency who have attempted to reach out to him.”
The employee has not been disciplined but faces the possibility of punishment, which could include termination, Anthony said.