WEB EXCLUSIVE: UH-Stevie Wonder Concert Chronology

WEB EXCLUSIVE: UH-Stevie Wonder Concert Chronology

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) -  The chronology is based on the University of Hawaii's fact-finding report, Hawaii News Now stories, and UH news releases and statements.

March 19: Stan Sheriff Center Manager Rich Sheriff informed University of Hawaii Athletics Director Jim Donovan that Oahu-based promoter Bob Peyton had contacted him about hosting a Stevie Wonder concert at the end of July or in early August.

March 27: Sheriff advised Peyton that he had spoken to Donovan and Donovan approved the concert idea.

April 3: An initial date of Aug. 11 was set for the concert.

April 16: Peyton sent Sheriff a draft of the concert booking contract.

May 18: Sheriff organized a meeting of UH staff to discuss the concert.  "Attendees were asked whether there was anything that would prevent the concert from occurring.  No one raised concerns," according to a UH fact finding report completed by lawyers from the Honolulu firm Cades Schutte.

May 24: UH Attorney Ryan Akamine sent Sheriff and Donovan a draft of the facility use agreement for the concert.

May 31: Sheriff sent an email to key UH officials saying Stevie Wonder had accepted another engagement Aug. 11 because no one had sent Wonder's organization a deposit or "binder" for the UH event.  Wonder was available Aug. 18 instead, Sheriff reported.

June 14: Akamine sent the final draft of the agreement to Donovan and Associate Athletics Director Carl Clapp for their execution.

June 18: UH announced pre-sale tickets for the concert.

June 19: UH President MRC Greenwood sent a message inquiring about the concert.  "This appears to be the first time President Greenwood … knew about the concert," the fact-finding report said.

June 26: The UH wired $200,000 to an escrow account in Florida as a deposit.

June 29: UH Chief Financial Officer Howard Todo expressed his concerns about the engagement memorandum. "Akamine said he had already advised athletics not to sign the Engagement Memorandum.  Akamine added that insurance would protect the university, that he had requested the insurance policy and that he was told 'they are working on it.'  Todo responded that the answer was insufficient and the insurance policy needed to be in place before the pre-sale of tickets," the UH fact-finding report said.

July 9: Akamine informed Sheriff, Donovan, Clapp and UH General Counsel Darolyn Lendio that the liability insurance obtained for the concert did not comply with the agreement, because it did not name the UH as "additional insureds."

UH Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs John McNamara received a call from someone who said Stevie Wonder had no knowledge of the concert, that it was unauthorized and that the concert would not go forward.

At 3:56 p.m. someone claiming to be Wonder's agent for the past 18 years emailed Greenwood.  He said no one knew about the concert and it was not a confirmed engagement.

July 10: Top UH officials met to discuss the concert earlier in the day and Donovan held a 4 p.m. news conference announcing the cancellation of the concert because Wonder was not available. Refunds would be given to those who purchased tickets, UH said.

July 11: Greenwood and UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple held a late-afternoon news conference to announce the UH was placing Donovan and Sheriff on paid leave and was launching an investigation into the failed concert. UH tapped Rockne Freitas, a longtime UH administrator, as acting athletics director.

July 16: David Simons, attorney for Donovan, wrote Greenwood and Apple a four-and-a-half page letter threatening the UH with a lawsuit and demanding Donovan be reinstated as athletics director.

July 18: Nine Neighbor Island state representatives wrote Greenwood asking her to reinstate Donovan, whom they credit with bringing games, workshops and scrimmages to Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties.

July 19: The UH Manoa Letterwinners Club sent Apple a letter asking him to immediately reinstate Donovan and Sheriff.

July 24: Hawaii News Now reported Peyton, the promoter, had faced financial problems in recent years, filing for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy and having his Kailua home foreclosed upon in fall 2011.

August 11: Apple and Donovan signed a "return from leave with pay" agreement in which Donovan agreed not to sue the UH in exchange for giving Donovan a public relations job in the UH Manoa chancellor's office, keeping his $240,000 salary the same through March when his AD contract expires and then dropping his pay to $211,200 for the next three years.  UH also agreed to pay $30,000 in Donovan's legal fees.

August 12: UH announced an investigation found Donovan committed "no wrongdoing," and while he will lose the athletic director's post, he will return to work in a newly-created communications job in the UH Manoa chancellor's office the next day.

August 13: Donovan returned to work at UH in his new position in the Manoa chancellor's office.  At a news conference, Apple said Donovan did a "fantastic" job as AD, but was removing him because "it's time to move forward in new areas." Apple said the two men had still not worked out a job title or exact duties for Donovan. Neither of them told reporters at the news conference Donovan had threatened to sue UH or the job was part of a settlement to avoid a lawsuit.

August 21: Greenwood sent an email blast to the UH ohana saying the "UH Manoa administration" had determined that four-and-a-half years into Donovan's  five-year contract, "it was time to search for a new director of athletics."  And Greenwood claimed the decision to not retain Donovan as AD was unrelated to the canceled concert.  Former UH Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw later said she asked Greenwood unsuccessfully for five- and three-year extensions for Donovan, and sources said Greenwood proposed a one-year extension on Donovan's contract shortly before the Stevie Wonder concert fell apart, a proposal Donovan did not accept.

August 22: The UH Board of Regents held a day-long executive session behind closed doors, spending five hours discussing the failed concert and its aftermath.  The regents released a 57-page investigative report into the incident along with a demand letter from Donovan's lawyer and Donovan's return-to-work agreement.  In a statement, UH Regents Chairman Eric Martinson said the board apologized "for the university's handling of this matter," but emphasized "our strong support for the leadership" of Greenwood and Apple.

August 23: State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said she and other senators were considering holding investigative hearings into the canceled concert and its aftermath, responding to complaints and questions from constituents.

UH appointed a 14-member search advisory committee to begin a search to replace Donovan as athletics director.  UH Head Football Coach Norm Chow will serve as co-chair, and two other UH coaches will be on the panel, helping to choose their next boss.

August 24: The UH faculty union said there was a "loss of confidence" in the UH administration because of its handling of the concert fiasco.

August 28: A group of 40 UH head coaches and their assistants signed a petition to Apple calling for UH to immediately appoint Acting Athletics Director Rockne Freitas as Athletics Director. Among those who signed the document were coach Norm Chow, women's volleyball coach Dave Shoji and women's basketball coach Laura Beeman. All three of them serve on the search committee for a new AD.

August 29: The State Senate appointed a special committee on accountability to hold hearings into the Stevie Wonder blunder.  State Sen. Kim said she planned to call Greenwood, Apple, Donovan, Martinson and other UH officials to testify.

August 31: Two members of the UH AD search committee said the three coaches who signed the petition for Freitas should resign or be removed from the committee, since they endorsed a candidate before the search process had even begun.

September 4: The UH AD search advisory committee held its first meeting, deciding that the three coaches who signed a petition backing Freitas can remain on the committee.  Sources said the 15-member committee felt they could balance any conflicts the three coaches might have and did not ask for their removal.  The committee disregarded the coaches' request to immediately appoint Freitas AD and instead approved going ahead with a search for the position.

September 20: UH released contracts showing it will pay the law firm Cades Schutte up to $50,000 for producing a fact finding report about the failed concert while a second law firm, Torkidlson Katz, was hired for up to $25,000 to redact documents released to the media and the public about the investigation and to help UH officials prepare to testify before a State Senate committee.

September 24: The State Senate Special Committee on Accountability held hearings featuring testimony from Greenwood, Donovan, and Martinson to investigate the Stevie Wonder Blunder.

September 25: The immediate past chair of the UH Manoa Faculty Senate gave Greenwood a grade of D for her Senate testimony, while he gave Martinson an F and Donovan a B.

September 26: A regional accreditation panel from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges asked questions about the canceled concert but also praised Greenwood's administration for its financial management and her focus on key priorities, such as increasing research funds and increasing the number of graduates.

September 28: The UH Board of Regents moved forward with plans to pay a consultant $50,000 to help a task force come up with ways to improve university oversight and management procedures in the aftermath of the failed concert.

October 2: The State Senate Special Committee on Accountability held its second briefing, with Apple, Sheriff and Board of Regents members Carl Carlson, James Lee and Coralie Matayoshi scheduled to testify.

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