Tom hands over
The House Judiciary chief givesBy Rick Daysog
state investigators an accounting of
his jobs for the Bishop Estate
House Judiciary Chairman Terrance Tom confirmed that he has given state investigators billing records of his legal work for the Bishop Estate.
The state subpoenaed the records earlier this year in its investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duties by trustees of the multibillion-dollar trust.
Tom (D, Kaneohe) declined to give details of the records, citing confidentiality. He said he complied with the state's request for the documents, noting he's made no secret of his work for the estate.
But he stressed that he keeps his work as an elected official separate from his private law practice.
Tom, paid a $4,000-a-month retainer by the Bishop Estate, has handled repossession and collection cases for the trust over the years.
Earlier this session, Tom recused himself from hearing several bills aimed at limiting the pay of Bishop Estate's five trustees, citing his business relationship with the estate.
Tom also took issue with documents, reported in yesterday's Star-Bulletin, in which he is identified by former Sen. Milton Holt as going to a local hostess bar with Holt in 1993.
Holt filed statements with the Internal Revenue Service saying he picked up bar tabs for Tom and other legislators with a Bishop Estate credit card. The IRS is conducting an audit of the estate and is looking at whether estate trustees or employees benefited at the expense of the trust, which has a mission to educate children of native Hawaiian ancestry.
Tom said he didn't go to the hostess bar and that Holt was mistaken when he filled out the IRS statement. "It didn't happen."
But Rep. Calvin Say, who also was listed by Holt as attending the hostess clubs, said he attended the 1993 meetings with Holt and Tom. Say told KITV that he went to the Monte Carlo with Holt and Tom after having a difficult night at the state Capitol.
Say said he and Tom did not know the tab was picked up by Holt's Bishop Estate credit card.
"I took Terry, who is blind, with me and we just had a couple and we went home," Say told KITV.
"That's about it."
Na Pua a Ke Alii Pauahi, the group of 2,000 Kamehameha Schools students, parents and alumni, has opened a downtown office to continue its battle with Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate trustees.
Kamehameha activists open
The office, to be blessed today, is at 900 Fort Street Mall, suite 1480; telephone, 538-6911.
Na Pua launched its fight against the trustees over concerns of mismanagement nearly a year ago on May 14 with a march from the Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu to KSBE headquarters near City Hall.
Na Pua President Toni Lee said "so much has happened since then, but sadly not much has changed on campus, with the exception of the teachers' organization efforts. The most disheartening part is that the trustees have taken no meaningful action to rectify the problem."
Holt names Legislators on bar tabs
Apr. 30, 1998 with audio
Bishop Estate Archive