‘Broken Trust’ authors
praise Bronster’s report

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Authors of the "Broken Trust" essay that helped prompt Attorney General Margery Bronster to investigate Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate say they are pleased with her preliminary report.

Senior Federal District Judge Samuel King, one of the five authors, said he's not surprised that Bronster found reasons to continue her investigation.

"We knew what we said was true," King said. "That was enough for anyone to proceed on."

Recent news stories which hint that trustee Henry Peters allegedly invested money in a business venture that the estate also put money into gave her more cause to proceed, King said.

"I should also say this would support our original thought that the present trustees should be temporarily removed from office so that (Bronster) can proceed without interference," King said.

"I think at the minimum, this signals that the trustees will simply have to respond to the allegations," said attorney Randall Roth, another of the "Broken Trust" authors. "Their days of hiding behind their public-relations staff would seem to be over."

Roth said: "I think she's done an excellent job of stating the issues and summarizing the law."

Roth predicted that trustees will be removed as a result of the state's investigation, which will help the estate and the school in the long run.

"There are going to be some trustees removed and that will directly impact on both the micromanagement issue and concerns about the climate of fear and intimidation at Kamehameha Schools," he said.

Retired Judge Patrick Yim is conducting a fact-finding investigation, on behalf of the state Probate Court, into allegations that trustees have been micromanaging the school.

"I think there is a dramatic contrast in the way the two investigations have been structured and the pace at which they seem to be moving," Roth said, noting that Yim's status report two weeks ago dealt primarily with logistical issues.

Roth's sentiments were echoed by Beadie Kanahele Dawson, spokeswoman for Na Pua A Ke Ali'i Pauahi, a group of alumni, parents and faculty disenchanted by decisions made by trustees.

Bronster's report "does raise the question as to whether the fact-finder may be an unnecessary expense of trust resources," Dawson said. "I think it's up for question."

Dawson said she too was pleased with the report and that it was released to the public despite the trustees' objections.

"It's something the public needs to know," Dawson said.

"And it speaks very well to the efficiency and effectiveness of the AG's office to be able to put together their material in a very orderly fashion in short order."

Dawson said she was also buoyed that Bronster spelled out potential remedies available to her office in the event allegations are proven true.

"She's looking at the total picture -- this is not just an investigation that ends up in the air with no one not knowing what to do about it."

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