Tourism official retains his job

Rex Johnson
Rex Johnson

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Rex Johnson came under fire earlier this month, after adult-oriented E-mails were found on his state computer, putting his job in jeopardy.

After launching an investigation earlier this month, the Hawaii Tourism Authority board rules that Rex Johnson will able to retain his job, but with a few changes.

"I'm very happy with the decision," said Rex Johnson.

After adult-oriented material was found on the HTA President and CEO's laptop computer earlier this month, the organization's board says it carefully and thoroughly investigated the incident, finally deciding to let Johnson keep his job.

"You had to do something and I know they agonized over it long and hard," said Johnson.

But there are some changes. instead of a four-year contract, Johnson's term is down to one. His salary is reduced from $240,000 down to $200,000 and was given a verbal and written reprimand.

"That's a policy and I agree with them. Believe me, it won't happen again," said Johnson.

Serving for almost 6 years, Johnson says he still has computer privileges and the encouragement of his co-workers.

"We had a little crying fest today and it was great, the staff has really been supportive," said Johnson.

Johnson calls the incident an error in judgement. Now, with apologies said, The Hawaii Tourism Authority is focused on looking ahead.

The board's chairman says Johnson has its full support going forward and now the HTA says it can focus on upcoming marketing projects geared towards China and Korea in the next few months.