Governors in the news: threatening messages aimed at Christine Gregoire land a man in jail

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January 31, 2011

By Eileen McGuire-Mahony

Healthcare Director resigns from Abercrombie administration

Neal Palafox handed in an abrupt resignation as Hawaii's Interim Health Director on Wednesday. The Governor, Democrat Neil Abercrombie, accepted Dr. Palafox's resignation and announced his search for a replacement. Abercrombie also, at Palafox's request, withdrew the latter's nomination, before the Hawaii State Senate, to become the permanent Director.

IN the aftermath of the resignation, no one was saying anything. Palafox declined to give a reason and the Attorney General's office refused to speak to rumors of medical billing irregularities, something that has been reported as a rumor but lacks for a source. An alternate explanation is that, as the Abercrombie administration vetted Dr. Palafox ahead of confirmation hearings, a personal issue surfaced and the nominee quietly stepped down.[1]

Washington man is jailed for threats to Governor Christine Gregoire

Robert Ray Locked, of Graham, Washington, is in custody on a half million dollar bail after writing threats against Governor Christine Gregoire on her official website. In addition to posting two messages expressing a desire that the Governor and her family would meet with grave harm, Locked filled out an event request form, in which he listed the occasion for which he wanted the Governor's presence as “Gregoire's public execution”. While Locke and his public defender insist he only wanted to give the Democratic Governor his opinion and that should be released on his own recognizance, a judge disagreed. In addition to the $500,000 bail, Locke is forbidden any contact with Governor Gregoire or her family and must stay 1,000 feet away from both the State Capitol and the Governor's Mansion.[2]

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