Friday, April 24, 1998

Admission records
release challenged

A court motion opposes
releasing schools' records to
the attorney general

By Rick Daysog


Saying a recent court decision could greatly broaden the state's subpoena powers, civil-rights attorney Dan Foley filed court papers opposing the release of Kamehameha Schools student application records to the attorney general's office.

Foley yesterday said that students and their families who are not a target of the state's investigation of Bishop Estate's trustees should not be required to give up their rights to privacy.

"This issue goes beyond the current controversy involving the Bishop Estate," said Foley.

But the attorney general's office said that the privacy rights issue has already been addressed in court. The state has agreed to review the admission records only under strict confidentiality guidelines, said Cynthia Quinn, special assistant to Attorney General Margery Bronster.

Quinn said the motion could hurt the students it's designed to help by causing further delays to the investigation.

"The court has bent over backward to preserve their privacy rights," Quinn said.

The state subpoenaed the admission records in its investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duties by trustees of the Bishop Estate, which operates Kamehameha Schools.

In particular, the state wants to know if trustees manipulated the student admission process.

Last month Circuit Judge Kevin Chang had ordered the estate to hand over the admission records of all applicants during the past two years to the state by May 1.

But Chang yesterday scheduled an April 30 hearing for Foley's motion.

Foley said he filed yesterday's motion on behalf of local attorney Michael Salling, who is the husband of state Sen. Lehua Fernandes Salling. The Sallings' child applied for admission at Kamehameha Schools in 1996.

But the attorney said he is seeking class-action status of the motion, noting that nearly 1,000 applicants and their parents objected to the delivery of the school records to the state.

Foley declined to say whether Salling or the estate was paying his legal bill.

Foley's objections come after the Bishop Estate unsuccessfully argued against the release of the admission records.

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