Friday, October 05, 2012

Jim Donovan placed on indefinite leave

[7/11/12] University of Hawaii officials have placed athletic director Jim Donovan and Sheriff Center manager Rich Sheriff on an indefinite paid administrative leave while an investigation of the canceled Stevie Wonder concert takes place.

UH vice president Rockne Freitas, a former UH assistant athletic director in the 1980s, was named acting athletic director until the investigation is complete, UH-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple said at a news conference this afternoon.

Apple said the school has contacted the FBI about the missing money from the concert fiasco.

UH said it put down a $200,000 deposit from athletic department funds on the planned Aug. 18 concert. The event was to have been a benefit for UH athletics.

It was cancelled Tuesday after UH said it learned that the event was planned without Wonder's knowledge.

[7/14/12]  The mystery continues

[8/12/12] University of Hawaii officials said today that athletic director Jim Donovan has been cleared of wrongdoing in the Stevie Wonder concert debacle and will return to the school in a new position Monday.

They did not specify the title of his new position but said he “will have significant responsibilities in designing, creating, articulating, marketing and communicating to the community, including assisting with the evolving land grant mission of the university,” according to a press release issued today.

"I am very pleased that I have been cleared of any wrongdoing as I have always acted in the best interests of the university,” Donovan said in the release.

[Dave Reardon] Sunday's release also quotes the new Manoa chancellor, Tom Apple, as saying, "Jim served the University well as our Athletics Director."

But if UH truly feels good about the job Donovan has done as AD, why is it moving him to a different position? That makes no sense at all.

[8/22/12] On the eve of a Board of Regents session to discuss the Stevie Wonder concert fiasco, University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood said Tuesday that athletic director Jim Dono­van was on his way out before the ill-fated venture.

In her first public statement on the issue since Dono­van was removed as AD on July 11, Greenwood maintained "at the same time and almost coincidentally, (the) UH administration had determined that after 41⁄2 years of a five-year agreement, it was time to search for a new director of athletics."

Greenwood ended five weeks of public silence on the issue with a mass email to the "University ‘ohana" Tuesday afternoon, much of which dealt with Dono­van's employment and the Wonder controversy.

Greenwood wrote, "Plans for the process and timetable for this action (removing Dono­van) would have commenced regardless of the concert cancellation and ensuing investigation. The discussions regarding this personnel decision were in the early stages and not yet public, but the attention of campus leadership had already turned to the recruitment process."

She did not address why Dono­van, who has been reassigned to an as-yet-unnamed position, will be retained with a $211,200-a-year, three-year contract when his AD contract expires March 23. She did not say why Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple had effusively described Dono­van's job performance as "fantastic" and lauded his "incredible talents" at an Aug. 13 news conference.

[9/20/12] UH hires law firm to prepare for Senate hearing.  I wonder how much money they'll wind up spending to investigate the loss of $200,000?

[10/2/12] State senate panel puts costs of non-concert at $1,135,200.

[10/5/12] Attorney Bert T. Kobayashi Jr., a longtime key supporter of the University of Hawaii athletic department, has resigned from the ‘Ahahui Koa Anuenue booster club, citing a lack of respect for embattled Manoa chancellor Tom Apple.

In a letter to members of the Koa Anuenue board of directors dated Thursday and obtained by the Star-Advertiser, Kobayashi wrote, “... I strongly believe in AKA and its mission; however, I find myself in a situation where if I stay with AKA that I would have to work with chancellor Tom Apple, for whom I have no respect.”

[10/11/12] the Thank your for the leadership letter mystery / Apple clarifies, more

[11/8/12] A federal grand jury in Honolulu has indicted two mainland promoters on charges related to the bungled Stevie Wonder concert that cost the University of Hawaii $200,000.

The U.S. attorney's office and the FBI officials said this morning that the grand jury returned indictments Wednesday against Marc Hubbard, 44, of North Carolina, for wire fraud, and Sean Barriero, 44, of Miami, for related offenses of transporting $200,000 taken by fraud. FBI officials said the UH cash appears to be unrecoverable at this time.

Hubbard turned himself to authorities at the federal court house in Charlotte, N.C. today and will be extradited later, officials said.

Barriero, who is a British citizen, will be in Honolulu district court this afternoon to enter a plea before U.S. Magistrate Kevin Chang. The FBI would not say if Barriero testified before the grand jury earlier this week as part of any plea agreement.

If convicted, Hubbard faces up to 20 years in prison and Barriero up to 10 years.



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