Trustees' attorney saysBy Jim Witty
the data in question are not
related to the investigation
A Bishop Estate attorney says trustee Lokelani Lindsey's secretary was doing nothing "nefarious" when she downloaded data from a computer hard drive on to five floppy disks.
"The vast majority isn't even tangentially related to anything . . . the attorney general would be investigating," attorney Bill McCorriston told reporters yesterday.
Claims last week by an employee of Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate that the secretary was deleting computer files led Judge Kevin Chang to issue an order Friday that bars estate employees from destroying or removing documents that may be connected to the investigation.
Chang's order said it appears that trustees "have been or are in the process of deleting computer files and will probably undertake or continue to do so unless restrained by order of this court."
McCorriston said a preliminary investigation produced "no credible evidence" that the secretary did anything improper.
"There's a wonderful collection of Hawaiian songs (on the disks)," said McCorriston.
McCorriston charged that the attorney general's office was conducting a "shoot first, investigate later" probe and said he would file a motion today asking the court to vacate the order and set a hearing date so the trust could air its side of the story.
"The attorney general had a press conference even before I was aware the papers were filed," McCorriston claimed.
He said Lindsey and the secretary both want Chang to review the disks.
McCorriston also told reporters that Bishop Estate had issued a directive to employees on Sept. 11 and a subsequent follow-up cautioning them not to delete or modify any computer information while the investigation was being conducted.
"We believe that any information that may have been downloaded . . . was kept at the offices of Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate," he said.
The employee who tipped off investigators will likely testify if a hearing is held, but the likelihood of Bishop Estate disciplining that person is "very remote," McCorriston said.
When hired, Bishop Estate employees agree to strict policies on what they say about the trust.
Deputy Attorney General Lawrence Goya didn't comment specifically on the allegations yesterday, saying the evidence would be presented when and if a hearing is scheduled.
McCorriston said that if the allegations against Lindsey's secretary were found to be baseless, "I think an apology to that certain lady would be in order."
Attorney General Margery Bronster's investigation is focusing on allegations that trustees have breached their fiduciary duties by mismanaging the estate's finances.
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