By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, May 9, 1998

Probate judge would
set pay for trustees

Trustees at the Bishop Estate and other Hawaii charitable trusts would have to persuade a probate judge in establishing their pay, under a bill approved by the state Legislature.

The House Friay night agreed to Senate amendments to a bill allowing a probate judge to set trustee pay at a "reasonable" level.

House Speaker Joe Souki (D, Wailuku) said public pressure was one of the reasons the measure passed.

"I was also concerned about the members of the House of Representatives that it should not be divided," Souki said. "For these kinds of reasons, we came to an agreement. The bill has some merits. And again, the question we had was a sincere consideration of reasonability."

Rep. Calvin Say (D, Palolo) cast the sole dissenting vote on the measure. Say said he believes the Legislature should have provided some guidance to define reasonableness, and he is afraid of increased litigation.

Even those who wanted a bill passed this session warned the state will face increased court costs because it will have to examine each charitable trust to determine whether the compensation it is asking from the probate court is reasonable.

Estate wants IRS to seek reporter's source

Bishop Estate is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the source of a Star-Bulletin story that disclosed confidential taxpayer information.

The April 30 article, written by Rick Daysog, reported that former state Sen. Milton Holt entertained lawmakers in 1992 and 1993 at local restaurants and hostess bars at Bishop Estate expense, and stated the information was based on records the estate submitted to the IRS.

The Internal Revenue Code prohibits any unauthorized and willful publication of taxpayer information, says the estate's attorney, Nathan Aipa.

The estate has subpoenaed Daysog and state Attorney General Margery Bronster, who received copies of the IRS records through a court order, for questioning to determine the source.

Both parties countered with motions to quash the subpoenas. Circuit Judge Kevin Chang has set a hearing for June 16.

Bishop retains privileged documents

Bishop Estate does not have to turn over 2,500 pages of records that it withheld from the state attorney general's office in an investigation of the multibillion-dollar trust.

But the estate does have to provide the state with more detailed descriptions of the documents, which it seeks to protect under attorney-client privilege.

Circuit Judge Kevin Chang Friday denied a motion by the attorney general's office seeking to lift the attorney-client privilege status of documents it had subpoenaed.

The privileged records include Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey's personal notebooks; correspondence between the estate and its attorneys, Stacy Rezentes and Albert Jeremiah; and conflict-of-interest disclosures by individual Bishop Estate trustees.

State attorneys complained that the estate provided them with incomplete descriptions of records it wanted protected. They fear that Bishop Estate may be abusing its attorney-client privilege while hiding records that could indicate breaches of trust by individual trustees.

"We are troubled that trustees may be suppressing evidence just because a person with a law degree is involved," said Hugh Jones, deputy attorney general.

The estate countered that the records are attorney-client correspondence and should be protected as such.

Darolyn Lendio, an attorney for the Bishop Estate, said the trust has provided state attorneys with more than 200,000 pages of documents and it has claimed attorney-client privilege on records that involve about 1 percent of that amount.

"When we say it's attorney-client privilege, it is attorney-client privilege," Lendio said.

Chang ordered attorneys from both sides to meet to see if there is any agreement on which records should be privileged.

If little agreement is reached, the court could decide "in camera" which documents should be confidential, or it could appoint a special document master to make the decision, Chang said.

Bishop Estate Archive

Navy might promote sailor McVeigh

The veteran Pearl Harbor sailor whom the Navy has been trying to oust on charges that he is gay has been selected for promotion to the Navy's highest enlisted rank.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Timothy R. McVeigh, who is not related to the Oklahoma City bomber, was selected to be advanced to E-9, or senior master chief petty officer, according to Navy orders sent out this week.

A Navy official in Washington, D.C., Friday night told the Star-Bulletin that only 15 percent of those who might be eligible for advancement are chosen.

McVeigh, 36, an 18-year veteran who last fall was forced out of his position as senior enlisted man on the nuclear submarine USS Chicago, said he hasn't been officially notified by the Navy of his promotion.

McVeigh was supposed to return to a Washington, D.C., federal court June 1 in his continuing battle with the Navy to retain his post.

Last December, the Navy tried to discharge him on charges that he is homosexual and engages in sodomy.

McVeigh, who has never commented on his sexual preference, took his case to court, and U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin ruled in January that the Navy overstepped it bounds in its investigation.

Hannemann selected as new head of Council

The new five-member City Council majority says it is time to put aside bickering and move ahead on a compromise reorganization plan with Mayor Jeremy Harris.

Those are the main reasons why John DeSoto is being ousted as chairman of the body and being replaced by Councilman Mufi Hannemann.

Hannemann was joined by Council members John Henry Felix, Rene Mansho, Andy Mirikitani and Jon Yoshimura in signing a resolution introduced late yesterday afternoon transferring leadership.

Council members Duke Bainum, DeSoto, Steve Holmes and Donna Mercado Kim now are in the minority.

The new majority said it will hold a special meeting May 15 to finalize the shift. Felix remains as vice chairman. No decisions have been made regarding committee assignments.

Miss USA has got her game face on

bullet See "Island Images"

A few hours after her flight arrives late from Los Angeles, Shawnae Jebbia, 1998's Miss USA, looking fresh, well coiffed and striking, leads a dozen other Miss Universe contestants into a restaurant for a "get acquainted" meeting with VIPs and news media.

Jebbia, her Miss USA sash snug from shoulder to waist, makes eye contact with each guest and smiles, then takes a seat facing the group.

She's psyched, she would say later. She's ready to meet with reporters and "dedicate" the next two weeks to competing "to the best of my abilities" in the 47th Annual Miss Universe Pageant to be held Tuesday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

"I'm here to have fun, but this is work and that's why I'm here," she emphasizes. "I'm more of an athlete who puts on the game face when it's time to go."

See expanded coverage in Saturday's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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