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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, September 22, 2007

Key Mesa figure put on leave

Advertiser Staff

George "Peter" Murnane III, a key figure in an upcoming court case between Hawaiian Airlines and Mesa Air Group, has been sidelined from his job at Mesa, which is the parent company of interisland carrier go!

Mesa said its board of directors had placed Murnane on administrative leave while "the company investigates matters relating to Mr. Murnane's conduct during the course of the company's ongoing litigation with Hawaiian Airlines."

Mesa said the review was initiated by the company after reports surfaced about potential misconduct and that the allegations do not involve financial statements, controls or operations of it.

Hawaiian Airlines has alleged that Murnane destroyed evidence that could show Mesa misused confidential information to start go!. It claims Murnane deleted several computer files a week after Hawaiian sued Mesa for allegedly misusing confidential information. Mesa got the materials during Hawaiian's bankruptcy proceedings.

"While it would be inappropriate to discuss the specific nature of this matter while an internal review is going on, we are able to confirm to shareholders that the conduct being investigated does not involve the financial operations or performance of the company," said Mesa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ornstein in a press statement.

The company said the administrative leave will be for up to 90 days while the company completes its investigation. It said William Hoke, vice president of finance, will be responsible for the financial and accounting functions and take on Murnane's duties.

Ornstein said the company will report the investigation's outcome as soon as it is completed.