Tuesday, April 14, 1998

Dissident Bishop Estate
trustees put blame
on colleagues

Stender and Jervis
file affidavits supporting the
atttorney general's motion
for a contempt ruling

By Harold Morse


Bishop Estate trustees Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis have filed affidavits in Circuit Court, supporting Attorney General Margery Bronster's motion for a court order holding trustees in contempt.

Bronster claimed the estate did not turn over Internal Revenue Service documents subpoenaed in the ongoing state probe of operations. The estate turned over four of an estimated 16 boxes of the documents, known as information documents requests, April 6.

Trustees Stender and Jervis have been at odds with trustees Richard Wong, Lokelani Lindsey and Henry Peters over the state probe.

In a memo filed yesterday, Crystal Rose, attorney for Stender, and Ronald Sakamoto, attorney for Jervis, said: "Trustees Stender and Jervis believe that if the court decides any monetary or other sanction is appropriate, it should be imposed personally and individually against the trustees or counsel responsible for improperly withholding relevant documents and information, if any."

But William McCorriston, attorney for all five trustees, said: "Actually, the way I read it, they (dissident trustees) don't support the attorney general's application for sanctions. All they're saying is if something went wrong, they didn't do it."

"Notwithstanding Mr. McCorriston's statements to the media that he 'would not act until he has discussed the decision with the trustees . . . Mr. McCorriston (the trustees' attorney) did not discuss with (Jervis and Stender) the decision or the trustees' response to (a) subpoena prior to the production of certain documents to the attorney general on April 6, 1998," Jervis and Stender each said in affidavits.

All this was discussed with the estate's general counsel, McCorriston said. "He acted as agent for the trustees to reply to the attorney general's subpoenas," McCorriston added, saying that the general counsel has kept trustees advised on the subpoenas and all related details.

"All five trustees have requested that I communicate to them collectively through the general counsel, which I have done -- and that communication with the general counsel occurred before any documents were produced on the 6th and was reviewed with the trustees by me personally with the general counsel on April 7," McCorriston said.

"There was no objection to the production of these documents by either trustee Stender or Jervis," he added. "So this whole affidavit is a very curious exercise, in my mind."

Jervis and Stender said in court documents filed yesterday they voted against appealing a Circuit Court ruling ordering trustees to produce all records in response to an attorney general's subpoena.But the two of them were outvoted and were subsequently kept in the dark on that and related legal matters, they claimed. McCorriston denies it.

Stender and Jervis said in their affidavits they had not personally withheld documents sought by the attorney general.

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