By Malia Zimmerman and Jim Dooley | Hawaii Reporter
“Marcy, it’s the governor calling.”
That was the start of a 4-minute voicemail that Gov. Neil Abercrombie left University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood on Aug. 16 just after the University announced it had likely been tricked into sending $200,000 to a fake promoter to schedule what they thought was a Stevie Wonder concert.
Instead, the university lost a $200,000deposit and had to refund tickets already sold. The entire debacle became known as the “Wonder Blunder.”
In the voicemail, released to the media nearly four months after it was first left for Greenwood, the governor advised the UH president on how to handle the political and public fallout from the botched concert.
He suggested she take swift and immediate action or face a Senate investigation.
Abercrombie left the voicemail after Greenwood had removed UH Athletic Director Jim Donovan from his job and transferred him to another UH administrative position.
According to Greenwood, legislative leaders wanted Greenwood and the UH Board of Regents to reinstate Donovan to the athletics post.
In the voicemail, Abercrombie urged Greenwood to arrange a special regents meeting to address the issue and to post the agenda of the meeting in time to meet state open meeting laws.
: “If there’s not a satisfactory, uh, and decisive conclusion to that, um, um… there will be a full fledged effort, uh, by, uh, the Legislature, uh, members of the Legislature, to bring it to a conclusion, um, themselves,” the governor said.
“I don’t think they wanna do that, but they will feel compelled to do it, if, uh, if this doesn’t move forward.”
Greenwood and the regents did not reinstate Donovan.
As the governor predicted, the Senate did convene a special investigation committee to look into the failed concert as well as operational and fiscal management issues at the University.
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