Mesa Air loses another chief financial officer
Mesa Air Group Inc.
, nearly a month late in filing its fiscal second-quarter financial report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said yesterday that interim Chief Financial Officer William Hoke resigned - seven months after the company fired CFO Peter Murnane for trying to cover up his destruction of evidence before Mesa's trial with Hawaiian Airlines
The parent of interisland carrier go! said in a SEC filing that Hoke stepped down yesterday to pursue another career opportunity. Michael Lotz, president, chief operating officer and principal accounting officer, will serve as the interim CFO until a replacement is found.
Mesa, which is facing delisting by Nasdaq for failing to submit its financials, initially filed for a 15-day extension on May 13 and then later in a separate filing on May 29 said it would release its earnings on or before this past Monday. However, Mesa had been preoccupied by a hearing with Delta Air Lines Inc. in which Mesa was seeking an injunction to prevent Delta from terminating a contract with a Mesa subsidiary for regional flights. Mesa was granted the injunction last week.
The company, whose stock fell 5.5 cents yesterday to 61 cents, hasn't issued any update on when it will file its earnings. However, the company previously said it has requested a hearing before the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel to review its delisting notification.
Murnane, who initially was going to be Mesa's star witness in the lawsuit filed by Hawaiian, was placed on paid administrative leave by Mesa for up to 90 days on Sept. 21 while the airline investigated accusations against him. Mesa then fired Murnane on Nov. 5. - less than a week after federal Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris ruled that Mesa must pay Hawaiian $80 million in damages, plus interest and attorney fees. Faris found that Mesa had used confidential information obtained as a potential investor during Hawaiian's bankruptcy to gain a competitive advantage in the Hawaii market. Faris also ruled that Murnane deliberately destroyed potentially relevant evidence that Mesa had a duty to preserve.
Mesa, which appealed the damages award to federal District Court, settled the lawsuit on April 30 with Hawaiian for $52.5 million.