Thursday, May 8, 2003

McCubbin resigned
after 2 inquiries

The most recent private
investigation was finished
a week before he quit

The Kamehameha Schools conducted two separate investigations into allegations that its former Chief Executive Officer Hamilton McCubbin had an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer.

The trust's human resources division conducted an in-house review earlier this year that resulted in no disciplinary action against McCubbin, people familiar with the investigations said.

The estate's five-member board later retained a private investigator and the prominent employment law firm of Torkildson Katz Fonseca Jaffe Moore & Hetherington to conduct the second investigation.

The latter inquiry was completed about a week before the 61-year-old McCubbin abruptly resigned from his $350,000-a-year post Monday.

McCubbin and the estate have declined comment on the investigations. McCubbin's attorney, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Robert Klein, could not be reached.

McCubbin, a 1959 Kamehameha Schools graduate, previously stated that he left the estate because he has achieved many of the goals that he set when he joined the $6 billion trust three years ago.

McCubbin, who said he took the job with the understanding that he would serve as a transitional CEO, said he also wanted to spend more time with his family.

News of McCubbin's abrupt resignation, which came several months after he signed a three-year contract extension, has rocked the Kamehameha Schools community during the past few days.

His January 2000 appointment as the first CEO in the 119-year history of the estate was widely hailed as a turning point to the legal and political scandal that plagued the estate's former board of trustees.

The estate, the state's largest private landowner and one of the nation's wealthiest charities, is a tax-exempt educational trust that educates children of native Hawaiian ancestry.

Several people familiar with the trust's operations said the estate's human resources division began the first investigation after receiving a complaint from employees that McCubbin had an alleged inappropriate relationship with a female worker in their office.

The employees, who are on stress leave, were concerned that their co-worker may be receiving preferential treatment as a result of an alleged relationship, people familiar with the investigations said.

According to the estate's organizational chart, the human resources division comes under the administration of the office of the chief financial officer, which, in turn, reports to McCubbin.

The chief financial officer position has been vacant since December when Eric Yeaman left for a similar post at Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.

The results of the in-house investigation were inconclusive, and the estate's board later asked a private investigator and the Torkildson Katz firm to begin a new inquiry, people familiar with the investigations said.

In addition to the alleged affair, the second investigation delved into allegations that McCubbin sexually harassed a female professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while serving as dean of the university's School of Human Ecology.

In 1999, UW-Madison paid the professor, Jikyeong Kang, more than $85,000 to settle her complaint, which alleged that McCubbin pursued an unwanted personal relationship with her over a three-year period.

McCubbin has said that Kang's allegations were false, and cited a formal investigation by the university that found that McCubbin was not guilty of misconduct.

The trust inquired about the 5-year-old case last week through John Knorek, an attorney with the Torkildson Katz firm.

John Dowling, senior legal counsel for UW-Madison, said Knorek requested and received a copy of McCubbin's 3-year-old letter of resignation from the school.


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