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Saturday, April 22, 2000

Ex-Kamehameha Schools
manager files lawsuit
alleging harassment

By Debra Barayuga


A former asset manager of the multibillion-dollar Kamehameha Schools has filed a lawsuit alleging that interim trustee Robert Kihune and interim chief operating officer Nathan Aipa violated his civil rights.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court yesterday by Randall Chang, charged Kihune and Aipa with racial discrimination and retaliation for testifying in Probate Court as to the financial performance by Board Chairman Richard Wong and other trustees, whom the state attorney general was trying to remove.

Kihune and Aipa engaged in a "program and pattern of harassment" to force him into resigning, Chang alleged.

Kihune and Aipa could not be reached for comment.

Chang had been appointed by Chairman Wong in August 1998 to oversee the estate's financial and real estate assets. Aipa was one of the finalists for the position but was not selected.

The harassment allegedly began last May when Kihune was appointed as an interim trustee and Aipa, then in-house Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate counsel, was appointed as acting chief officer. Chang then reported directly to Kihune and Aipa.

Chang contends he was wrongfully terminated Jan. 28 after Kihune informed him his position would probably be eliminated under a reorganization within 30 days or longer.

Four days later, Aipa gave him a letter of termination, effective Jan. 28.

Chang alleges his firing and Aipa's failure to evaluate his performance violated his employment contract.

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