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UH officials put Donovan, Sheriff on indefinite leave of absence

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED: 04:50 p.m. HST, Jul 11, 2012

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.

The investigation will be done by an experienced, outside party, Apple said.

Apple briefed UH coaches and athletiic department staffers prior to the press conference.

"I'm very pleased to have the confidence of President Greenwood and Chancellor Apple," Freitas said.

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and leading members of the administration met in Bachman Hall this afternoon to discuss the fallout.

Donovan announced Tuesday that the planned Aug. 18 benefit concert at the arena was canceled after school officials said the show had been planned without Wonder's knowledge. He said the UH was trying to recover the $200,000 it paid from the athletic fund to book the show. When asked if the UH had been scammed, Donovan said, "I couldn't speculate."

An athletic department spokesman declined comment and administration spokespeople have not been responded to emails and phone calls today.

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