Bishop worker threatened, under guard

Laurian Childers told the state
how files may have been deleted

By Jim Witty

A Bishop Estate employee remains under armed guard because she was threatened after she told officials how a trustee's secretary may have deleted computer files, her husband says.

The employee, Laurian Childers, received the anonymous telephone threat Thursday, which was a day after talking to the attorney general's office, her husband Richard Childers said in a statement released yesterday.

Laurian Childers is a network specialist in the Information Systems Division at Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate.

Attorneys for the state and Bishop Estate were expected back in Circuit Judge Kevin Chang's courtroom today after meeting privately yesterday over the attorney general's request for an injunction against destruction of computer and other records.

According to Childers' statement, his wife was allegedly approached by another Bishop Estate employee who asked her to help make sure "film removed from the (computer) file server serving the trustees offices could not be restored. She was informed that trustee (Lokelani) Lindsey's secretary had removed the files."

At that point, her immediate supervisor came into the meeting and "said that they should not be doing this, it might be illegal and he needed further direction," Childers claimed.

Childers said that after he heard about the conversation, he discussed it with an attorney who confirmed Laurian Childers' legal obligation to come forward with the information.

After making her statement, she notified trustee Oswald Stender, received a subpoena to testify from the attorney general's office and contacted the Bishop Estate legal office, Childers said.

"At 4 p.m. an anonymous threat was telephoned to our home, threatening her safety if she testified," Childers said.

The attorney general's office would not say whether guards were assigned to watch over Laurian Childers. But spokeswoman Cynthia Quinn said, "As a policy in any investigation, we do take measures to ensure the safety of all our witnesses."

Bishop Estate attorney Bill McCorriston said the trustees "have offered their complete cooperation to investigate any threat to Mrs. Childers" and have offered to provide security for her at work.

"(Deputy Attorney General) Larry Goya informed us and the court that he recommended that Mr. Childers not make any public statement.. . . The chance of Mrs. Childers testifying seems very remote. That someone would make a threat to Mrs. Childers is kind of curious given her role in the whole drama," McCorriston said.

Childers said he went public with his statement to stress that "at no time has (Laurian Childers) been aware of the contents of the files that were allegedly removed from the file server. At no time has she speculated in any way about these events.... She knows nothing. I hope that fact lessens any chance that somebody's serious about the threat. Laurian's not holding the smoking gun that's going to sink the trustees."

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