Mesa CFO placed on leave
Peter Murnane, the Mesa Air Group chief financial officer embroiled in an alleged data cover-up connected with a Hawaiian Airlines lawsuit, has been placed on administrative leave.
Earlier this week, Murnane hired prominent Hawaii criminal defense attorney Brook Hart to independently represent him in connection with the Hawaiian-Mesa non-jury trial that is scheduled to start Tuesday in Bankruptcy Court in Honolulu.
Murnane is alleged by Hawaiian to have permanently deleted and manipulated data that could have been used by Hawaiian in its suit against Mesa.
Hawaiian is suing Mesa for allegedly using confidential information it had seen as a potential investor during Hawaiian's bankruptcy in deciding to enter the Hawaii market on its own. Hawaiian is seeking unspecified damages and injunctive relief.
Phoenix-based Mesa, which operates interisland carrier go!, said yesterday that Murnane will be suspended for up to 90 days while the company investigates matters relating to Murnane's conduct during the court of the ongoing litigation with Hawaiian. William Hoke, vice president of finance, will take over Murnane's responsibilities during the interim.
Mesa said the alleged misconduct does not involve the financial controls, financial statements or operations of the company.
"Our policy is to comply with only the highest ethical standards of conduct and, if we become aware of a potential or alleged violation of such standards, to conduct an appropriate investigation and to take appropriate remedial action when warranted," said Jonathan Ornstein, chairman and chief executive of Mesa. "We will report the outcome of the company's investigation as soon as it is completed."
Murnane didn't return a message left yesterday on his cell phone and Mesa counsel Brian Gillman declined to comment.
Hart also declined to comment.