Greenwood Threatened to Expose Abercrombie, Say, Tsutusi: ‘Serious Violation of Multiple Laws’
by Andrew Walden
MRC Greenwood has taught a valuable lesson to any who wish to learn it: From the right position, Hawaii’s business and political elite can be outmaneuvered by anyone willing to hold them hostage to their own violations of law.
Media accounts of the November 13 leak of UH President MRC Greenwood’s October 2 demand letter focused almost entirely on Greenwood’s demand for $2M in damages. It would seem to be bad news for Greenwood, but by the end of the week, Greenwood came out on top. Sen Dan Inouye had spoken up on Greenwood’s behalf, the previously divided BoR closed ranks behind Greenwood, and by Sunday the Star-Advertiser editors were crying ‘uncle’. Abercrombie, Say, and Tsutsui were united, and Greenwood swept them all aside.
How? Greenwood’s letter explains:
“The reasons why the House, the Senate, and the Governor have been so assiduous in protecting the position of (former UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan) will be the subject of intensive discovery should this case not be resolved.”
Visualize the Clinton-connected Greenwood dragging the Governor and much of the Legislature through Federal Court depositions—with a judge specially brought in from San Francisco just to oversee the show.
As UH President, Greenwood has done precisely what Inouye brought her to Hawaii for. She has reined in the hordes of wildly posturing professors who were obstructing Inouye’s telescopes and his UARC-APL military research lab. In the midst of all her troubles, the Haleakala Telescope was approved so quietly November 9 that the protesters didn’t even know about it four days later when the Maui News got around to asking.
At the October 19 Manoa Faculty Senate meeting, rioters of days gone by were reduced to the lonely and gaunt image of Noel Kent silently wandering the aisles with a “we can do better” sign. Bev Keever got no traction with her October 1 call for the Kim Committee to “leap into the big leagues” and investigate UARC-APL. The Trask sisters are too busy looking for geothermal sandwich profits to be bothered with rent-a-mob protests-for–college-credits. The rest of the faculty wants no part of the bad old days. Listening sessions led by Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple and now by Greenwood show that professors are very interested in working with Greenwood and Apple and not at all interested in using the Wonder Blunder to sew chaos.
In retrospect, the most likely letter leaker is Greenwood herself. Here are excerpts which detail alleged violations of law by Abercrombie, Say, and Tsutsui:
…Regrettably, powerful politicians wanted more for Mr. Donovan than was provided in this already generous settlement. On August 10, 2012, one day before the settlement was signed, but at a time when the settlement negotiations were nearly finished, Dr. Greenwood went to a previously scheduled meeting with Governor Abercrombie at 11:15 in the morning. She attended, and present in the room with her and the Governor, were Melvin Wong and Bruce Coppa. She wrote detailed notes of the meeting the next day. A copy of these notes is attached as Exhibit 8 hereto. These notes show direct pressure on Dr. Greenwood to abandon the settlement and to reinstate Mr. Donovan to the AD position. This was followed by a direct threat to Dr. Greenwood that if she did not reinstate Mr. Donovan to the AD position she could expect, “that the University’s budget would be in deep trouble at the legislature” and a statement that she had “united the speaker and the president on at least one issue.” He also threatened, in response to Dr. Greenwood’s comments that she could not return Mr. Donovan to his position, that there would be “consequences” if she did not do so, and that she “needed to take the path” he was advising “for her wellbeing, Chancellor Apple’s wellbeing and the wellbeing of the University.” Governor Abercrombie made his wishes abundantly clear at the end of the meeting by stating twice, “You understand what I’m saying, don’t you?”
Following her meeting with the Governor, Dr Greenwood got a confirming text from Mr Coppa (who had been present at the meeting that morning) reaffirming that the Governor wanted Mr Donovan back as AD. A copy of the text of August 19, 2012, as reprinted from her phone, is attached as Exhibit 9 hereto. The relevant part of the text states:
August 10, 2012, 2:29pm
BC: I just spoke w Marvin n governor tis was discussed after toms call to president n speaker They would like the option of Jim back as AD as discussed this morning
This text was the second overt act of inappropriate pressure upon Dr Greenwood now expressly from the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.
A third instance occurred when she got a voice message from the Governor on August 16, 2012. At that time the Governor was trying to get her to call a special BOR meeting to reinstate Mr Donovan to the AD position. A true and correct copy of the transcription of the voice message is attached as Exhibit 10 hereto. A copy of the tape is also available. In the voice mail, the Governor made the following comments:
…because I assure you, if this issue is not resolved, decisively, on Wednesday, by Thursday, you’re going to be in the thick of a Senate investigation and all that that entails. I don’t think that’s a good outcome.
He also stated:
I reiterate to you my, my ah projection is, I can’t say for certain but what I told you was going to happen, what I thought would happen, has happened and I, again, what I think is going to happen, if this suggestion is not acted on is that by Wednesday evening or whenever that Regents meeting end, if there is not a satisfactory and decisive conclusion that there will be a full-fledged effort by the Legislature or members of the Legislature to bring it to a conclusion themselves.
Regrettably, but consistent with these threats, a Legislative hearing was thereafter held which continued through yesterday. Dr Greenwood was examined unpleasantly by Senator Kim. She truthfully confirmed that pressure had been put upon her by the Governor. Senator Kim then called Mr Coppa. He denied any such pressure had been placed on Dr Greenwood. Copies of this testimony can be made available upon request. Mr Coppa’s testimony appears at time stamp 2:42 of the hearing. In it, he states expressly, “The Governor would not make any pressure.” In later responses to Senator Kim’s leading questions he repeats similar denials. The Governor has also issued similar denials, which are, of course, contradicted by Dr Greenwood’s notes, his own voice mail and Mr Coppa’s text.
Mr Coppa’s testimony was of course completely untrue as Mr Coppa was not only present at the meeting at which the pressure was applied, he was the sender of the text noted above which referred to the pressure which had been applied earlier that same day.
In light of these events, Dr Greenwood has regrettably concluded that she has not been given the ability to function independently, as is required of the office of the President of UH, and that she has been severely defamed. The reasons why the House, the Senate, and the Governor have been so assiduous in protecting the position of this individual will be the subject of intensive discovery should this case not be resolved.
The pressure placed on Dr Greenwood is a clear breach of her contract, which is premised on her ability to act independently and to be free of inappropriate threats, which threats are themselves a serious violation of multiple laws.
read … Full Text of Letter
Read Why Greenwood was Hired:
Nov 19: Kim Committee to Demand 'Special Master' to Oversee Greenwood?