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Regents to cover UH president's job, deal with Donovan

By Craig Gima

LAST UPDATED: 3:51 p.m. HST, Nov 2, 2012

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents on Thursday scheduled a special meeting next week to continue its discussion on UH President M.R.C. Greenwood's employment and the university's settlement with former athletic director Jim Dono­van.

Much of the meeting Wednesday will be in executive session because the topics involve personnel matters and consultation with UH attorneys.

But the regents scheduled a public vote and discussion on Dono­van's settlement, which gave him a three-year marketing job in the UH-Manoa Chancellor's Office at a yearly salary of $211,200 and paid $30,000 to his attorney.

State Sen. Donna Kim has said that the attorney general's office gave her an opinion saying the regents should have approved Dono­van's new job as a legal settlement.

Instead, the board discussed Dono­van's new position behind closed doors and issued a statement supporting the move. The statement also expressed support for Greenwood and UH-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple.

Donovan's reassignment came after Greenwood suspended Dono­van and Stan Sheriff Center Manager Rich Sheriff with pay following UH's loss of $200,000 in an apparent Stevie Wonder concert scam.

Donovan hired attorney David Simons, who threatened to sue the university for defamation, until the settlement was reached. Dono­van also agreed to leave his $240,000-per-year job as athletic director, a position that would have ended next March.

If the regents reject Dono­van's settlement, it could lead to a lawsuit.

Greenwood and the regents have also been criticized for the mounting costs following the failed concert. The Senate accountability committee estimates the cost at more than $1.3 million, including the loss of the $200,000 and more than $600,000 for Dono­van's new job.

The regents and UH also confirmed Thursday that they have hired a law firm, McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP, to assist the regents with their discussion of Greenwood's employment contract.

UH spokeswoman Lynne Waters said in an email that the maximum amount of the contract is $25,000. It has not been signed and will be released when it is, Waters said.

Attorney Bill McCorriston met with the regents during a closed-door meeting Oct. 12.

Waters' email was sent in response to the Star-Advertiser's public-records request to find out the hiring of the law firm.

UH waited 10 days, the maximum time allowed under the law, before replying to the newspaper's questions.

In another development, the Board of Regents announced that Keith Ame­miya, the board's secretary and executive administrator, is leaving at the end of the month. Ame­miya is taking a new job as senior vice president with Island Holdings Inc., parent company of Island Insurance, Atlas Insurance, Tradewind Capital and other local businesses.

AG Opinion - Donovan Settlement

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