Thursday, April 2, 1998

3 trustees accused
of limiting info

Stender and Jervis say they
continue to be kept out of
the information loop

By Rick Daysog

Fellow Bishop Estate trustees continue to withhold information from Gerard Jervis and Oswald Stender, Jervis says.

Five months after he and Stender filed a court petition charging that they were kept out of the information loop, Jervis said fellow trustees Richard Wong, Henry Peters and Lokelani Lindsey continue to withhold information and keep him and Stender out of the decision-making process.

"We're not necessarily sure that all of the information is on the table," Jervis said.

Jervis' comments came after attorneys for the estate's five trustees argued in Circuit Court yesterday over Jervis' and Stender's petition seeking court instructions on how the trust is administered.

The two trustees are asking probate Judge Colleen Hirai to require the board to post prior notice and hold discussion on major estate matters. The two trustees also are seeking court instructions giving trustees the right to information involving the trust.

Hirai made no ruling at yesterday's hearing, which was held after attorneys for the trustees and the state attorney general's office met privately in Hirai's chambers for about 2-1/2 hours.

Jervis said the majority trustees kept information about questionable credit card charges by Bishop Estate employee Milton Holt from him and Stender. Records show that Holt, a former state senator, ran up more than $20,000 on the estate's Visa cards at local hostess bars and Las Vegas casinos between 1992 and 1997.

Jervis also alleged that he and Stender were not informed about some $266,000 in stock options offered to Peters by Mid Ocean Ltd. Mid Ocean is a Bermuda-based reinsurance company in which the estate owns a 5.16 percent stake.

Peters, a former Mid Ocean board member, has since turned down the options.

Keith Matsuoka, attorney for trustee Lokelani Lindsey, denied any wrongdoing by the majority trustees and said Jervis and Stender's charges were filled with "half-truths" and "innuendo."

Matsuoka alleged that the two trustees are purposely keeping themselves out of the information loop.

"They have been derelict in a deliberate attempt of being uninformed," Matsuoka said.

Jervis labeled Matsuoka's charges "ludicrous." He said there's no motive for feigning ignorance since all trustees are legally liable for actions taken by the full board.

During yesterday's hearing, Rene Yuen, attorney for Henry Peters, argued that the case should be dismissed, saying that trustees have equal access to trust information.

Yuen noted that the court should not allow a "vocal minority" to change the will of the estate's founder, Bernice Pauahi Bishop. If trustees feel that information is being withheld, it is their duty to request that information, Yuen said.

But the attorney general's office, which is supporting Jervis and Stender's petition, called Yuen's argument circular.

If trustees aren't given information about estate matters, they're not in a position to ask what information is being withheld, Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones said.

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