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Wonder Concert Promoter Peyton Will Not Appear Before Senate Committee

BY JIM DOOLEY -  Entertainment promoter Bob Peyton will not appear before a state Senate committee investigating last month’s failed Stevie Wonder fundraiser concert because he is being treated for serious medical problems, his lawyer and doctor said.

Peyton was hospitalized at Castle Medical Center August 17 “for multiple medical problems requiring extensive surgery and a leg amputation,” his physician, Dr. Mario Voulgardis, said in a letter dated September 25.

The letter was released by Peyton’s lawyer, Ken Kuniyuki, who said Peyton will not appear Tuesday before the Senate panel investigating University of Hawaii management and financial issues, including the cancelled fundraiser.

“Please respect the privacy of the patient given his frail condition,” Voulgardis said in the "to whom it may concern" letter.

The doctor said Peyton’s discharge date was “currently unknown.”

The special senate committee, which held a six-hour hearing this week and plans another session Tuesday, said yesterday Peyton had been invited to appear at the next session.

Kuniyuki said in an email that Peyton would not appear, attaching Voulgardis’ letter  to his email.

Peyton was retained by the University to arrange the fundraiser appearance Aug. 17 by singer/songwriter Wonder.

The event was cancelled, and a $200,000 deposit paid by the University to secure Wonder’s appearance disappeared after it was wire-transferred to a Florida bank account.

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood has said she believes the university was victimized by a fraud. She said the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation. The FBI has declined comment.

Peyton, who went through personal bankruptcy in recent years and whose personal residence is now in foreclosure, reportedly used a Florida company, Epic Talent LLC, to book Wonder for the fundraiser.

The event was cancelled after Wonder’s representatives told UH that he had never been contacted about, or agreed to, the concert appearance here.

Epic Talent has declined to discuss the issue.

One of company’s executives, Sannise “Sunny” Crosby, told Hawaii Reporter this week that the company has no office and receives business mails at a private mail box service in Miami.

Crosby’s personal address, listed in Florida corporate records, is a Miami Gardens home occupied by her, as well as at least two other relatives, including her father and her uncle.

Scheduled to appear at Tuesday’s Senate hearings are Rich Sheriff, manager of the UH Athletics arena where Wonder was to appear, as well as three members of the UH board of regents.

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