It was inevitable. A lot of us began speculating when Dobelle would be forced out after Governor Lingle was elected in 2002 (Dobelle publicly endorsed Democrat Mazie Hirono in that race). In retrospect that probably had less to do with it than his constant feuding with the Board of Trustees, and I think that blame needs to be laid equally with the board. The hostility flowed in both directions. Dobelle didn’t seem to want to be accountable to anyone but himself, and the board seemed to want to put him on a short leash.
What is most interesting that the President was reportedly fired “for cause,” and given the definition of “for cause” in his contract, I find it hard to believe that this will hold up. The board is pointing to issues regarding Dobelle’s accounting of money from his “protocol” fund. In the end his firing is probaby going to cost the state a few million in lawyers fees and settlements when it is eventually determined that “cause” was not proven.