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Former chairman of UH regents resigns from board

By Nanea Kalani

LAST UPDATED: 04:01 p.m. HST, Aug 21, 2013

Former University of Hawaii Board of Regents chairman Eric Martinson has resigned from the board, a year before his term was set to expire.

Martinson joined the regents in 2009. He had been elected in 2011 and again in 2012 to one-year terms as chairman. John Holzman was named chairman in July.

Martinson had been at the helm during last year’s so-called “Wonder blunder” — a plan to hold a Stevie Wonder concert to benefit the cash-strapped athletic department that ended up with the school being scammed out of more than $200,000.

Fallout from the botched concert shook public confidence in the university’s leadership and spurred questions about its operations and accountability.

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood in May announced that she will retire two years before her contract is up to spend more time with family and deal with health issues.

Martinson did not immediately return a call for comment.

He sent an Aug. 12 resignation letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Abercrombie on Tuesday sent Martinson a letter, confirming the resignation was effective immediately. He thanked Martinson for his “time, energy and commitment,” according to the letter obtained by the Star-Advertiser.

In a separate letter to Holzman, Abercrombie said he will ask the Regents Candidate Advisory Council to provide a list of candidates to fill Martinson’s seat.

Martinson held one of seven Honolulu seats on the 15-member board.

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