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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Thursday, May 26, 2016

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Posted: Friday, March 7th, 2014 12:44 PM HST

Minaai cleared in ethics probe

By Ken Hupp - 67AM KPUA News

A University of Hawai`i Associate Vice President accused of favoritism and unethical conduct related to construction of a UH-Hilo dormitory project has been cleared of any alleged wrongdoing.

The University asked the Attorney Generals office to investigate the complaint by Honolulu Engineering Executive Dennis Mitsunaga, who accused Office of Capital Improvements head Brian Minaai of potentially wasting millions of dollars in public funds through blatant mismanagement of construction projects, including steering contracts to firms of friends.

The attorney general's 137-page report concluded that management of the project by the University of Hawai`i was deficient in several key respects, but there was no evidence of intent to suggest any criminal behavior by Minaai.

Mitsunaga's firm, Mitsunaga and Associates Inc., was hired in mid-2011 to design the $28 million Hale `Alahonua project, which opened to students in the fall.

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