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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Wandering into the Wonder Blunder, Abercrombie Describes Pressure He Put on Greenwood
By News Release @ 11:31 PM :: 6295 Views :: Energy, Environment

Governor Statement on Senate Hearing

News Release from September 24, 2012

HONOLULU –During testimony by University of Hawai'i President MRC Greenwood before the Senate committee on accountability this afternoon, it was suggested that Governor Neil Abercrombie offered advice regarding the UH athletic director position. The following statement by the Governor is in response to media inquiries about his meeting that was mentioned by President Greenwood.

“I stated very clearly to President Greenwood that my sole concern was for fairness and even-handedness. I based this concern as the Governor as well as an alumnus and supporter of the University of Hawai'i. I also stressed that any and all decisions made in the wake of the concert failure ensure that all responsible parties be held to account.”


Note this is not a complete sentence: “I based this concern as the Governor as well as an alumnus and supporter of the University of Hawai'i.”

Abercrombie, Say, Tsutsui Called for Donovan to be Retained

HR: “Football gets to be very much more important than any other kind of program in many universities. You get a lot of external influences,” Greenwood said.

She told senators said that after she removed UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan in July, she received “advice” from the governor and “pressure” from the state Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to put Donovan back in the job.

“I don’t get that when we’re trying to select a new Dean of Natural Sciences,” Greenwood told senators in a remarkable six-hour public hearing on recent contoversies at the UH Manoa campus.

During the course of the hearing, Kim asked Greenwood if she or her representatives had asked members of the business community to try to “delay or cancel” the senate briefing.

Greenwood said that had probably happened….

Several times she returned to the theme of the headaches that division one football programs create at public universities.

Such programs create political pressures for university administrators, and she felt them after she removed Donovan, Greenwood said.

“In fact, I was told that I would be (put) in front of a legislative committee, and here I am,” Greenwood told the senators.

KHON: Former UH Athletics Director Jim Donovan grilled by Senators

KHON: Hot seats, cold shoulders in Stevie Wonder UH briefing

read … Pressure

UH Blows $4.7M on Buyouts, Lawyers

HNN: On Monday, the state Senate Committee on Accountability released more than 1,700 pages of UH documents that also show that the university has paid more than $2.5 million in buyouts to six former UH officials during the past 12 years….

The documents released Monday also included emails and testimony by UH's Chief Financial Officer Howard Todo, who raised concerns with Manoa campus officials about the concert nearly two weeks before it was canceled.

Todo later met with UH President MRC Greenwood and both concluded that all they could do at that point is "hope the concert would be successfully conducted."

The documents also show that the UH spent lavishly for outside legal work -- before and after -- the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco. These lawyers billed the UH nearly $2.2 million between April 2011 and March 2012.

read … Senate committee releases UH concert documents

UH Paid Lawyer $50K to Cover for Greenwood, Another got $25K to Cover for Everybody Else

HNN: University of Hawaii President M.R.C Greenwood told a special State Senate committee Monday that she knows more about the law enforcement investigation and the possible whereabouts of the $200,000 UH lost in the failed Stevie Wonder concert than she can disclose publicly. (She admits to a lie of omission, but has an excuse.)

Click HERE to watch the live steam

One of the two attorneys who conducted an investigation for UH into the bungled concert said he did not interview Greenwood as part of that probe. (He then admits to pre-judging the investigation to justify covering up for Greenwood.)

That's because Greenwood involvement in the planning and management leading up to the concert was "non existent," limited to just one email, said Dennis Chong Kee, a partner in the law firm Cades Schutte (and he was paid good money to make sure it stayed that way.)….

Senators also questioned attorney Robert Katz, whose law firm got a $25,000 contract to redact UH documents, sanitizing them of information his firm felt needed to be protected from public view for legal reasons. (Question: Why is one person worth $50K and others are worth only a fraction of $25K?)

Katz said his firm removed the names of non-UH employees to avoid potential legal action by them and to avoid interfering in the law enforcement investigation.

But senators said the lawyers removed names from some contracts with the university that should be public under state law. Katz said his office never checked with the state's Office of Information Practices, the entity that makes rulings on information and documents that should be disclosed to the public and the media.

read … $50K to cover for MRC and $25K to cover for everybody else



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