Witnesses called to appear at Tuesday's State Senate Wonder Blunder hearing

Published: Oct. 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 2, 2012 at 1:20 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Here's a list of the people invited to testify Tuesday, Oct. 2., before the State Senate Special Committee on Accountability about the University of Hawaii's Stevie Wonder concert fiasco.

Click HERE to watch the live stream at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple began his post overseeing UH's flagship Manoa campus with its 20,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff in late June 2012.  He was previously provost at the University of Delaware, which is roughly the same size as UH Manoa.

Only about three weeks after Apple started his new job, the Stevie Wonder concert unraveled, forcing Apple into crisis mode before he had fully settled in to the new position at Hawaii Hall.  "I really want to apologize to the public for my poor communication," Apple told Hawaii News Now, saying his outreach to the media had not been good in the aftermath of the concert fiasco.

Reacting to state senators' informational briefings on the failed concert, he said, "I hope their intentions are good and that they'll feel more confident about the administration and the university when they're done."

Apple is paid $439,000 a year, roughly $100,000 more than his predecessor, Virginia Hinshaw.

UH Regent Carl A. Carlson Jr. is one of two vice chairs of the all-volunteer board.  He is among the top three regents who meet with UH President MRC Greenwood once a week to discuss UH affairs and help decide what is placed on the regents' agendas, sources said.

A resident of the Big Island, Carlson is founder of Huehue Ventures, a real estate consulting and agriculture property management services firm.  He was general manager of Huehue Ranch for 20 years and has served as a trustee to the Parker Ranch Foundation for ten years.

Also called to testify in the senate investigation is the regents' other vice chair, James H. Q. Lee.  An attorney, Lee served as managing director of Let's Eat Hawaii, owner and operator of Sam Choy's restaurants in Hawaii, Japan and Guam.  He also is managing director of K.B. Lee Corp., a real estate development company that owns and operates Hee Hing Restaurant.

The third regent set to testify is Coralie Matayoshi, who heads the regents' personnel committee.  An attorney, she has served as CEO of the Hawaii chapter of the American Red Cross since 2003.  She previously was the executive director of the Hawaii State Bar Association, the state's professional organization of attorneys.

Promoter Bob Peyton presented the idea of a Stevie Wonder concert to UH Arena Manager Rich Sheriff, according to an investigative report by the UH.  Peyton was the main contact with UH on the concert. Peyton's doctor said he was seriously ill, hospitalized at Castle Medical Center, recently had his leg amputated, and was unable to testify.

Peyton has faced recent financial problems, including foreclosure on his Kailua home in the fall of 2011 after he had filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. A promoter with a 40-year history of producing concerts and other performances in Hawaii, he had not mounted a major event in several years.  One of Peyton's most recent events, a Beauty and the Beast on Ice performance at the Blaisdell Center, resulted in the stagehands' union filing a claim against him for more than $20,000.

Sheriff Center Arena Manager Rich Sheriff is the son of the late UH Athletics Director Stan Sheriff, for whom the center he manages is named.  Sheriff was the point person for UH on the Stevie Wonder concert, serving as its main liaison with local promoter Bob Peyton, according to a UH investigative report.  After Donovan approved the idea, Sheriff oversaw the formation and the execution of the deal and the steps necessary to mount the concert, the probe said.

Sheriff has worked for UH since 1995 and is paid between $44,724 to $113,424 a year.  Since he is a civil servant who's a member of the HGEA public employees' union, UH will release only his salary range.

Click HERE to watch the live stream at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.