Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
Hawaii Was The ‘Button Pusher’ A Problem Employee? State Won
Wed Apr 11, 2018 07:08


Was The ‘Button Pusher’ A Problem Employee? State Won’t Release Details

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency said the worker who sent out a false missile alert had a record of incompetency, but he disputes that.

By Marcel Honore / April 10, 2018
In January, state emergency leaders roundly criticized the worker who errantly sent a text message warning thousands in Hawaii of an imminent ballistic missile attack as incompetent.

The so-called “Button Pusher,” they said, worried his supervisors for more than a decade, confusing drills with real-life events and making fellow Hawaii Emergency Management Agency workers uncomfortable.

Three days later, the now-fired Hawaii man disputed their account entirely. Suddenly, there were conflicting accounts regarding the monumental mishap.

It appears the public won’t find clarity on this anytime soon. Despite Gov. David Ige’s

assurances that the state would restore confidence in the agency, HEMA has declined Civil Beat’s request for documentation to support its claims on the button-pusher’s job performance.
Honolulu attorney Michael Green, right, sits with his client, the former Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee who sent a false missile alert to residents and visitors in Hawaii, left, during an interview with reporters, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 in Honolulu.

The ex-state employee says he's devastated about causing panic, but he believed it was a real attack at the time. The man in his 50s spoke to reporters Friday on the condition he not be identified because he fears for his safety after receiving threats. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)

Although no media outlets have named the man, the request “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy and cannot be produced,” the agency stated in a March 29 email.

HEMA’s lawyers have advised that the agency can’t release documents on job performance until after the button-pusher’s grievance process has been exhausted, according to Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, a HEMA spokesman.

“That’s just wrong,” said Brian Black,
president and executive director of The Civil Beat Law Center.

JANUARY 30, 2018

“Nothing in 92F (the state open-records law) makes records confidential. Nothing requires the government to withhold information,” Black said Monday. “It says you can withhold it if you want to, but it does not say you must withhold it.”

The state’s records law requires agencies to release details on state workers who were fired or suspended once their grievance is finished — but it doesn’t stop them from releasing those details earlier if they believe it’s in the public interest, he said.

HEMA is “acting as if the law on public records that says you must produce things is saying they can’t produce it,” Black said.

Further, by arguing that the request would lead to a “clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” HEMA is dismissing the same public interest that it helped create when it criticized the employee as incompetent, Black said.

Conflicting Accounts

On Jan. 29, about two weeks after the Jan. 13 false missile alert text went out to thousands of phones across the islands, retired Brig. Gen. Bruce Oliveira released the state’s initial report on what lead up to it.

The report pointed to systemic flaws at HEMA and its State Warning Point, located inside the Diamond Head Crater. But it also took withering aim at “Employee 1” — the Button Pusher — for “poor performance” over the years.

Other Warning Point workers are “not comfortable with Employee 1 as a supervisor, two-man team, or as a part of the SWP in general,” Oliveira’s report stated. “He is does not take initiative (sic) and has to be directed before he takes action.”

General Bruce Oliveira presents his investigation fo the false missile alert findings at press conference.

Retired Brig. General Bruce Oliveira released a report on the false missile alert that harshly criticized the employee who initiated it.

The employee froze after sending the warning with a mouse-click on his computer and didn’t help other workers respond, according to the report. He was fired Jan. 26, state officials said.

“He is unable to comprehend the situation at hand and has confused real life events and drills on at least two separate occasions,” the report said. Oliveira said the worker’s poor performance had been documented.

On Feb. 2, during a daylong blitz of one-on-one media interviews, the employee disputed all the criticism levied against him.

“That wasn’t true. Everyone was working, contributing, answering phones and doing what we could to remedy the situation,” he told Civil Beat of the moments after the alert went out. “I was answering calls. We all did what we could.”

He said he doesn’t recall ever mistaking previous drills for actual events.

“There’s no documentation about that – nothing I signed off on,” he said.

He added that he was surprised to hear the claim that he had made fellow workers uncomfortable.

“I’ve always been a team player. My co-workers should have known that. I’ve sacrificed over the years to switch my work schedule for some of my co-workers,” he said. “I don’t see why all of a sudden they would say these things. It’s hurtful to read about. It’s bewildering to me where that comes from.”

Anthony, meanwhile, said he’s still trying to get documents released that are not part of the Button Pusher’s personnel file. He did not elaborate on the nature of those documents.

“I would really like to see some of that information released even if it has to be redacted,” Anthony said Thursday.

He added, however, that it’s not his decision to make unilaterally.

“I am working through that process,” Anthony said.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can still comment on stories on our Facebook page.

About the Author
Marcel Honore
Marcel Honore is a reporter for Civil Beat. You can email him at

Why We Didn’t Name Hawaii’s ‘Button Pusher’

The attorney, Michael Green, introduced his client yet declined to divulge his identity — even off-the-record.

Later, the man said he didn’t want to identify himself because he’d like to continue working in Hawaii and because he’s received death threats.

“I’m concerned for my safety and the safety of my family,” the Button Pusher told Civil Beat.

Missile alert in error no threat reads the sign located on the Liliha Street overpass.
The man who admits he was the one who sent the false missile alert wanted to explain his side of things. We listened.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

FEBRUARY 8, 2018
Hawaii Man Says He’s Devastated About Sending Missile Alert

FEBRUARY 2, 2018
Man Who Sent Out False Missile Alert Was ‘Source Of Concern’ For A Decade

The picture above of two great fireballs in the sky is from Vera Beach, Florida of a CE-5 event. That is where the viewers had been visiting with our extraterrestrial elders from outer space and agreed ahead of time to meet there.

Might those be two hydrogen bombs in a controlled burn off? Here is a link to a video at you tube for your consideration. Check it out and see what you think?

More at:

  • US TREASURY NOTE SALES ARE FAILING WORLD WIDE - NO ONE IS BUYING (266) Nobody Is Buying US Treasury Notes - Uh Oh!!! - YouTube ========== That’s Correct. Over the last month US Treasury Norte Sales... more
    • [ WW2 UPDATE, AND WHAT IS A "NAZI" ? ]FRIEND OF GOD, Tue Apr 10 07:01
      [ WW2 UPDATE, AND WHAT IS A "NAZI" ? ] The term "nazi" is a derogatory slang word in the German Language and has been adopted by politically correct activists as a name for the "National Socialists". ... more
    • [ REAL MONEY ]FRIEND OF GOD, Tue Apr 10 05:48
      [ REAL MONEY ] , has a book for sale called "The Gold, Silver, and Hourglass Standard: A Discussion about the Origins of Money" Quote of Book Description, "One of... more
Click here to receive daily updates