I became aware of a book recently that was published in 1975 titled "Creators of life: a history of animation" authored by Donald Heraldson. I've yet to read the whole book but the excerpt I have read from page 77 goes like this, "Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and Chuck Jones have been credited with Bugs' design, but a more probable explanation is from Robert Mckimson who states that the rabbit was designed by and named for a Warner animator called "Bugs" Hardaway working as an assistant to animator Chuck Thorsen.
This statement from Mckimson not only reinforces the contribution by Hardaway that I've proposed but illuminates the significance of the "Hi'ya Chuck" on the artwork.
The excerpt can be read here, http://books.google.com/books?ei=9He0TOzfD4u4sAPm5Ii3CA&ct=result&id=JA3WAAAAMAAJ&dq=creators+of+life%3A+a+history+of+animation&q=hardaway .
The documented memories of the first person witnesses to the creation of the character's personality (Virgil Ross, Mel Blanc, and Robert Mckimson) are in direct opposition to the opinions that have been offered by authors Michael Barrier, Steve Schneider and Jerry Beck some 50 years after the fact. In my opinion, these authors are not just misinformed, they have purposefully attempted to eliminate the contributions of Hardaway. This concerted effort is evident in the deletion of Hardaway's contribution in Beck's book (although he is listed in the index), in the miss-characterization of Mckimson's memories in Schneider's book, in the unreferenced and erroneous story of the characters naming offered by Barrier, and the list goes on...