The estate wants to know howBy Debra Barayuga
protected information got out
The state attorney general and Honolulu Star-Bulletin lawyers have filed motions to quash subpoenas filed by Bishop Estate in its probe into how information from documents under a protective order were obtained by a Star-Bulletin reporter.
Bishop Estate lawyers filed subpoenas Thursday, the day Rick Daysog's article reported that Bishop Estate employee and former Sen. Milton Holt had entertained fellow lawmakers at restaurants and hostess bars at the estate's expense.
The article was based on comments made by Holt and sources familiar to the records who spoke to Daysog on the condition their identities remain confidential. The IRS documents had been submitted to state Attorney General Margery Bronster in her ongoing investigation of Bishop Estate.
Star-Bulletin attorney Peggy Leong and Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones today said trustees who have been subpoenaed in the attorney general's investigation have no legal basis to issue subpoenas.
The subpoenas commanded Daysog and the attorney general or a designee appear in court today, but neither will be appearing.
"The fact that trustees have received subpoenas in this investigation doesn't mean they have the power to issue their own subpoenas," Leong said. "These guys have no business being here."
Added Jones: "There is no legal authority that we're aware of to permit a deposition of a prosecutor in a proceeding to enforce an investigatory subpoena."
About Daysog, Leong said: "Under the First Amendment we believe there's a qualified privilege which protects us from revealing sources."
Star-Bulletin Managing Editor David Shapiro said the Star-Bulletin will also file a motion asking the court to lift its protective order on the Bishop Estate documents in question.
"From what we've seen, the documents relate entirely to issues of the trustees' official duties and possible malfeasance," Shapiro said.
"We see no legitimate issue of privacy."
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