Move for Lindsey ouster heats up

Jervis and Stender file a petition
asking that the trustee
be removed

By Rick Daysog

Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate trustees Gerard Jervis and Oswald Stender today petitioned the Circuit Court to remove fellow trustee Lokelani Lindsey, saying she committed a breach of trust and was unfit to serve on the board of the charitable trust.

The two said that Lindsey inflicted harm on students and the schools, and used estate personnel for her personal benefit.

"Trustee Lindsey has lost the confidence, respect and trust of the students, faculty, parents, and alumni of Kamehameha Schools and members of the Hawaiian community," the petition said.

"In sum, her actions have shown at best, an inability to make decisions for the benefit of the schools and, at worst, a willingness to attempt to gain personal public support at the expense and the detriment of the schools, its students and the trust itself."

In a statement, Lindsey responded that she will defend her record as a trustee under oath and welcomes the opportunity to have Stender and Jervis do the same.

"The issue is now where it belongs -- in a court of law where people are held accountable and required to tell the truth," she said, calling the accusations baseless.

Lindsey said Stender has waged a three-year campaign to discredit her. "The people will finally know who has been creating discontent and falsehoods within the Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate ohana," she said.

William Harrison, attorney for Lindsey, had no immediate comment, saying he hasn't been able to read the petition. Lindsey, who served as the lead trustee in charge of the estate's educational programs until those duties were taken away from her in August, previously said she would not step down as trustee and has questioned the motives behind the calls for her removal.

A spokesman for the estate had no comment, saying that trustees Jervis and Stender were acting in their individual capacities.

The court petition comes after Jervis and Stender two weeks ago called for Lindsey to voluntarily step down as trustee.

In today's filing, Stender and Jervis cited the recently released report by court-appointed fact finder Patrick Yim, which concluded that Lindsey should relinquish her duties as lead trustee for education.

Lindsey had criticized the Yim report as unbalanced, saying it focused on allegations, rumors and innuendo.

Jervis and Stender also alleged that Lindsey "impugned the integrity" of Kamehameha Schools, its faculty and schools President Michael Chun when she released her own educational report, which criticized the schools' education programs and faulted Chun for declining test scores.

Faculty members had criticized the report, saying that test scores at Kamehameha Schools have actually risen in the past few years.

The two trustees also cited the case of Lindsey's use of Bishop Estate personnel to apply for city permits to renovate her beachfront home in Punaluu. They said that starting in 1994, estate employees Alika Neves and Paul Cathcart conducted more than 100 hours of work to obtain shoreline certifications and variances for the home.

Lindsey has since repaid the estate for the work.

The petition for removal comes after the state Supreme Court stepped away from selecting future Bishop Estate trustees, ending a century-old tradition.

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