seeks unhindered
Bishop inquiry

She asks Probate Court
to deny the estate's bid for
a protective order

By Jim Witty

Attorney General Margery Bronster has filed a brief with the Probate Court saying her investigation of Bishop Estate must be "unhindered" and urging the court to deny a protective order requested by the trust.

Earlier this month, the estate filed a petition to protect information disclosed during the probe from the public.

Attorneys for the estate have argued that confidential or proprietary information on the trust's business dealings should not be made public.

Estate attorney Bill McCorriston said they're willing to turn over documents if Bronster abides by Probate Court guidelines adopted to deal with the annual master's report on the estate in 1995.

But the attorney general contends those guidelines don't apply to the current investigation ordered by Gov. Ben Cayetano.

The attorney general's special assistant, Cynthia Quinn, said investigators wouldn't disclose information harmful to the estate.

"We're representing the beneficiaries and the estate," she said. "Any documents that would harm the estate would necessarily be protected. ... They're asking for a blanket and that's not proper."

McCorriston countered: "Based upon her actions to date, I haven't seen any actions that have helped Bishop Estate."

He said one document subpoenaed by the attorney general contains home phone numbers, names and job descriptions of estate employees.

"Employees have a right to privacy not to have their names and phone numbers spread all over the newspapers," McCorriston said.

Bronster said in the filing: "The attorney general must be unhindered in not only using all information in furtherance of the investigation, but also in furtherance of all remedies, whether judicial, legislative or executive."

A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 24.

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