Press release from State Senate regarding the failed Stevie Wonder Concert that resulted in a $200,000 loss to the University of Hawaii Athletics Department and in the reassignment of Athletic Director Jim Donovan:
The University of Hawaii’s failed Stevie Wonder concert fundraiser was the focus of Monday’s Senate Special Committee on Accountability informational briefing. The committee was convened in response to the public’s concern over issues that recently surfaced at the University of Hawaii. Monday’s briefing is the first in a series of meetings looking into the oversight, accountability, and transparency of the operational and financial management of the University of Hawaii System, including but not limited to the University of Hawaii’s Athletics Department.
M.R.C. Greenwood, University of Hawaii president; Jim Donovan, former University of Hawaii athletics director, Dennis Chong Kee of Cades Schutte law firm, “fact finders” into the failed concert to raise money for UH Manoa Athletics department, and Eric Martinson, chair of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, were among those who testified before the committee.
Contracts with law firms retained by the University of Hawaii for the investigation into the failed Stevie Wonder concert, the timeline of events that led to the failed concert as well as events leading to the removal of Jim Donovan from his post as University of Hawaii Athletics Director were among issues discussed.
“I am pleased that those who were asked to come before the committee came to the briefing to answer our questions,” said Senator Donna Mercado Kim, chair of the Special Committee on Accountability. “Although we appreciate their attendance, it was frustrating to hear that many policy and procedures that are in place were not followed.”
“I hope the public got some of their questions and concerns addressed through the briefing. Moving forward, we hope the University will work to restore the public’s trust and confidence,” she added.