Hawaii News Now reported Thursday William "Billy" Richardson was notified he was a nominee, so he told all his friends and started preparing for the confirmation process.
But state Boards and Commission Manager Jayson Muraki says a confirmation email was "inadvertently" sent to the wrong William Richardson.
The letter should have gone to the William Richardson who heads a venture capital firm and is the son of a former Hawaii Supreme Court justice.
Renwick Tassill of the Hawaiian Homes Commission says the mix-up shows the state places a low priority on Hawaiian issues.
Muraki says the agency is working to ensure it doesn't happen again.