State asks the court for a contemptBy Richard Borreca
citation, saying the estate did not
turn over all documents
The state attorney general's office has asked that Bishop Estate trustees be held in civil contempt for allegedly not complying with an order to hand over IRS documents.
The estate turned over four of an estimated 16 boxes of the documents, known as information document requests, yesterday.
"Just from the looks of it, it does not look like they complied with the order," said Cynthia Quinn, special assistant to Attorney General Margery Bronster.
Also yesterday, Bishop Estate trustees Gerard Jervis and Oswald Stender won a court case that permits them to attend board meetings and find out about the estate's workings.
They had asked the state Probate Court to order the estate and the three other trustees to allow them full participation.
Yesterday, Probate Judge Colleen Hirai said they are entitled to know about and attend all Bishop Estate board meetings and are entitled to all relevant information about the estate.
Hirai's decision noted that fellow trustees Lokelani Lindsey, Henry Peters and Richard Wong had already agreed to those terms or said they were board policy.
Jervis and Stender, however, contended that much board business had been transacted without their knowledge.
"There were times when not all information was available and when decisions were made without notice and discussion," said Ronald Sakamoto, Jervis' attorney.
Both Jervis and Stender have disagreed with Bishop Estate board policy in the past. He said yesterday that Jervis and Stender found out about the $21,000 in hostess bar and gambling expenses charged to the estate by Bishop Estate employee Milton Holt by reading about it in the paper.
"The trustees Jervis and Stender have felt they were being kept out of the loop," he said.
Hugh Jones, a deputy state attorney general, said the attorney general was also pleased with Hirai's order, noting that the rules have been clarified and, "The trustees now know that this is not just a policy, it is now the law."
Renee Yuen, attorney for Peters, said the court order moves the action back to the board room but said the order "hasn't changed anything."
"The court's instructions don't clarify some of the problems arising in recent months," she said.
Yuen contends that the trustees already had equal access to information and that if additional information is needed, the estate would be required to provide it.
Stender and Jervis issued a statement: "These fundamental principles are critical ingredients in getting this trust back on track."
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