Thursday, May 16, 2002

top pay went to
lawyer in 2001

Nathan Aipa earned more than
the trust's CEO, IRS data show

By Rick Daysog

The Kamehameha Schools paid its former top lawyer $413,630 during its last fiscal year, making him the estate's highest-paid employee, according to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Attorney Nathan Aipa's 2001 compensation was nearly $100,000 higher than the $321,026 paid to estate Chief Executive Officer Hamilton McCubbin and was more than double the $170,636 paid to the trust's current chief legal officer, Colleen Wong, for the year ending June 30, 2001.

It is also double the $195,000 that the $6 billion charitable trust paid Aipa during its previous fiscal year.

Aipa, who left the estate last year and is now in private practice, said his compensation included his base salary as well as a severance package. Trust officials declined comment, saying it was a personnel matter.

Aipa, who served as the estate's first chief operating officer before stepping down, has been criticized for his role in the estate's three-year legal battles with the state, the IRS and members of the local Hawaiian community.

Robert Richards, a special master appointed by the probate court, faulted Aipa's handling of the trust's outside law firms, which represented interests of the estate's former trustees at the expense of the estate.

Aipa is just one of several former and current employees who received big payouts in 2001. According to the estate's Form 990 filing with the IRS:

>> Former Chief Investment Officer Wendell Brooks earned $300,000.

>> Ex-Chief Administrator Rodney Park received $260,023.

>> Gilbert Ishikawa, the estate's former tax director, was paid $271,610.

>> Eric Yeaman, the estate's current chief financial officer, earned $224,532.

>> Michael Chun, Kamehameha Schools' president, earned $188,718.

Current estate trustees Doug Ing, Diane Plotts and Nainoa Thompson, who joined the board on Jan. 1, 2001, earned $51,000 each, while trustees Robert Kihune and Constance Lau received $122,000 and $100,500, respectively. Former interim trustees Ronald Libkuman, the Rev. David Coon and Francis Keala each received $49,500.

Lau and Kihune also served as interim trustees.

Prior to their removals in 1999, former trustees Richard "Dickie" Wong, Lokelani Lindsey, Henry Peters, Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis each earned as much as $1 million a year.

The estate's annual Form 990 filing also provided a broad look of the estate's investment and educational operations.

The nonprofit Kamehameha Schools posted total revenues of about $303.6 million during the 12 months ending June 30, while the Kamehameha Activities Association, a tax-exempt support organization, recorded total revenues of about $1.3 billion thanks to the recent sale of stock in Goldman Sachs Inc.

On a consolidated basis, the two organizations grossed about $1 billion during its 2001 fiscal year, up from $936.3 million in the year-earlier period.

The trust said it spent about $192 million for educational programs and school construction last year and is poised to spend an extra $200 million this year.

The estate said it paid the local architecture firm Group 70 International $2.82 million largely for work related to its Maui and Big Island campuses, which are under construction.

The trust also paid $2.1 million to the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen LLP and $1.85 million to the Washington, D.C., law firm of Miller & Chevalier to resolve various tax issues with the IRS.

The Kamehameha Activities Association also paid Miller & Chevalier $488,091 during the 2001 fiscal year.

Kamehameha Schools archive

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