Stevie Wonder Is ‘Missing’

When the island of Oahu was in the throes of the famed “Wonder Blunder,” the fallout included a highly redacted report from the University of Hawaii – and now Hawaii’s Office of Information Practices has chastised it.

The university found itself in the middle of controversy last fall after it lost $200,000 in a botched attempt to book Stevie Wonder for a school benefit. After a series of hearings held in September and October, the university issued a 57-page fact-finders’ report that withheld the names of all involved – including the artist.

The OIP has issued an opinion that “almost none” of the redactions were justified under state law, according to Hawaii’s Star-Advertiser. It recommends “the committee return the report to UH so that UH can redo the redaction as provided herein.”

The office noted Wonder’s name “had been publicized in UH’s statewide announcement of the concert and, thus, in this case he was already widely known in connection with the failed concert and, indeed, tickets with his name on them were being pre-sold at the time of its cancellation.”

The state senate’s accountability committee had apparently concluded that the university had paid $65,000 to a law firm to make the redactions without regard to the law, according state senator Donna Mercado Kim.

University officials, in an apparent effort to avoid the fees of Wonder’s booking agency, found a fly-by-night outfit in Florida that claimed to be able to book Wonder at a reduced cost. The so-called liaison, Marc Hubbard, is facing fraud charges in Honolulu, and the money has not been recovered.