A Bishop attorney says, though,By Rick Daysog
that the records were produced
for a separate subpoena
Bishop Estate trustee Henry Peters allegedly held back information about former state Sen. Milton Holt's use of estate credit cards at local hostess bars and Las Vegas casinos, according to fellow trustee Gerard Jervis.
Peters recently told Jervis that he directed an estate staffer to give him the Holt records, which were subpoenaed by state Attorney General Margery Bronster, Jervis said in an affidavit filed today.
Bronster -- who is investigating allegations of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duties by trustees -- last month alleged that the estate withheld subpoenaed documents, including records that show Holt ran up some $21,000 on the estate's Visa cards between 1992 and 1997.
"Trustee Peters has never been authorized by the full board of trustees to withhold any information property subpoenaed by the attorney general," Jervis said in today's court filing.
"The alleged withholding of Holt's credit card information was never brought to the full board of trustees for discussion and a vote prior to the withholding."
William McCorriston, attorney for the Bishop Estate, denied that Peters withheld the Holt documents, saying they were eventually produced for the state.
Peters inadvertently held onto the documents because he thought they were part of the estate's response to the Internal Revenue Service's ongoing audit of the estate, McCorriston said.
The state subpoenaed the IRS documents, but the trust currently is opposing the subpoena in court.
McCorriston said there was some confusion because the Holt documents also fall under a separate state subpoena for credit card bills by trustees and staffers. The estate later handed over the subpoenaed credit card information, which included Holt's records, he said.
Peters was not available for comment this morning, and an estate spokesman could not be reached for immediate response.
Both Jervis and trustee Oswald Stender said they were not aware that the Holt records existed or were withheld prior to Bronster's disclosure of the bills last month.
Bronster through a spokeswoman today said she found the disclosure about the alleged withholding of Holt's credit card information troubling.
She said it shows a further need for the appointment of a special administrator to address the state's investigation.
Bishop Estate Archive