Hawaii’s Senate minority leader is accusing Gov. Neil Abercrombie of politicizing the state’s health department by firing his nominee to replace Chiyome Fukino, a woman best known to the nation as Barack Obama’s birth certificate guardian.

Sen. Sam Slom, the sole Republican in Hawaii’s upper house, is denouncing Abercrombie’s handling of the nomination of Dr. Neal Palafox to be the successor to Fukino as director of the state’s health department. He said he is convinced Abercrombie asked Dr. Palafox to withdraw his nomination because the nominee fired two Hawaii health department employees who were politically connected.

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