By Jim Dooley | Hawaii Reporter
HONOLULU — Hawaii state senators investigating the failed University of Hawaii‘s Stevie Wonder benefit concert repeatedly questioned why UH officials and attorneys have withheld information from the public.
In an exchange that at times grew heated, senators asked the university’s attorney, Jeffrey Harris, about why sections of a university report on the failed concert were removed before the document was made public.
Harris repeatedly told the committee that the information was removed as a “precaution” against possible invasions of privacy and to avoid interference with an FBI investigation into the now canceled fundraiser.
State Sen. Les Ihara, D-Kapahulu, asked Harris repeatedly to elaborate on his assertion that privacy interests were protected when the names of individuals and companies involved in the concert promotion, including Wonder, were stricken from the public version of a “fact-finders” report.
Harris declined to elaborate.
He challenged the committee members, led by Senate Vice President Donna Mercado Kim, D-Kalihi, to release the full version of the report, which they received from Harris, if they think its contents should be made public.
“If you disagree with us about the redactions, release them,” Harris said. “Don’t argue with me about our redactions. We’re taking the precautions.”