Senate Special Committee releases final UH report

Probe into Stevie Wonder Concert scam reveals UH shortcomings

Published  5:35 PM HST Nov 19, 2012
UH Board of Regents meeting
HONOLULU -

The hearings were, in the words of Sen. Sam Slom, not a whitewash or a witchhunt.

But, they did throw the spotlight on the University of Hawaii's shortcomings, lack of internal controls and dysfunction of the Board of Regents.

"It troubles me, and it should trouble the community," said Slom.

The committee's list of 18 recommendations include a financial and management audit of the university, and a change in the way UH regents are hired or removed.

It also wants the process by which outside legal counsel and PR firms are hired, to be tightened up.

It ultimately found that there was little internal oversight which lead to the concert scam.

"The president of the university is ultimately responsible.  Certainly those people under her, the office of General Counsel,  and dispersing office and the supervisors are accountable, and should be held accountable.  In our hearings, the president said this would be forthcoming, but I believe we have not seen anything as of yet," said Committee Chairwoman Donna Kim.

Committee members did take exception to President Greenwood's statements that  she was subject to undue political pressure, and that she made decisions to protect the autonomy of UH.

"By stonewalling  the public, and by advancing this case is what led to hiring of the attorneys and PR groups that cost taxpayers  nearly a million dollars," said Sen. Ron Kouchi.

The senators are reserving the right to call the committee back into action if they are dissatisfied with the university's response.

UH said M.R.C. Greenwood had not yet seen the report and could not comment.

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