Thursday, November 18, 2004

Investigation finds
no evidence
against church

The state attorney general's office has decided not to pursue legal action against a Kalihi church, saying it could find no evidence to substantiate claims that church leaders had violated the trust document governing the institution's operations.

Dissident members of Apostolic Faith Church had accused church leaders of financial mismanagement, and one sued the church earlier this year, seeking a financial accounting and asking the court to oust the organization's board of trustees.

The lawsuit was dismissed, but the dissident members asked the attorney general's office to look into the accusations. Because Apostolic Faith is a charitable trust, the attorney general's office has oversight authority.

Hugh Jones, a deputy attorney general, said his office reviewed church documents and information provided by the trustees but found no indication of trust violations. "As of now we see no basis to take any action," he said.

Darlene Dunston, one of the dissident members, said she was disappointed in the attorney general's investigation, calling it superficial.

Dunston said the Internal Revenue Service has expressed an interest in the case, and she recently provided information to an IRS agent.

A church representative could not be reached for comment.



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