Delays to theBy Rick Daysog
Bishop Estate probe cause the
attorney general's office to
add three months
to the deal
The state attorney general's office has extended a $300,000 contract with a local private investigative agency by an additional $180,000.
The state last December hired Goodenow Associates Inc., the state's largest private detective agency, to a six-month contract to assist in its investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing by Bishop Estate trustees.
Cynthia Quinn, special assistant to Attorney General Margery Bronster, said the state extended the contract by an extra three months due to continuous delays to the investigation.
She said the state investigators have conducted additional work because estate lawyers have not cooperated with them.
But Bishop Estate attorney William McCorriston criticized the Goodenow contract and the state investigation as a costly fishing expedition at taxpayer expense.
He said the attorney general's office will spend more than $1 million investigating the estate while more than $2 million was cut from the state's education budget.
"What's wrong with this picture?" McCorriston said.
"Let's talk about breach of fiduciary duties and financial mismanagement of public resources."
Last week, McCorriston filed court papers seeking sanctions against the attorney general's office, saying a Goodenow investigator repeatedly contacted high-level Kamehameha Schools employees without a subpoena.
In a memo supporting the sanction motion, McCorriston said Goodenow investigator John Tsukayama on March 18 told Sandra Wicklein, Kamehameha School's personnel director, to meet him for questioning.
Estate attorneys objected, saying that all future contacts with staffers should be conducted through attorney Howard Luke, who is representing Bishop Estate employees.
McCorriston also objected to a May 18 telephone call by Tsukayama to Anthony Ramos, principal of Kamehameha Schools secondary schools, asking Ramos to come in for questioning. The investigator violated court rules by not contacting Ramos through his attorney, McCorriston said.
Quinn, meanwhile, called the estate's motion a smoke screen to divert attention from the state's investigation into alleged wrongdoings.
She said state investigators abided by the rules of the court in its interviews of staffers.
A hearing on the sanctions motion is scheduled for June 18.
Star-Bulletin writer Gary T. Kubota
contributed to this report
No conflict of interest
in land deal, Souki says
He says he helped sell landBy Gary T. Kubota
to Bishop Estate but
wasn't the broker
WAILUKU -- State House Speaker Joseph Souki said he did nothing wrong in receiving $132,000 from a developer who sold 100 acres of land to Bishop Estate.
"There was no conflict of interest at all," said Souki.
Souki said he represented Everett Dowling for 14 months as a consultant in case Dowling encountered problems "as far as timetable," and received payment for the work in January 1997.
Souki, who owns Joseph M. Souki Realty on Maui, said he assisted in the sale but did not negotiate the price and was not Dowling's broker.
He declined to identify the people with whom he spoke on Dowling's behalf.
Souki said critics of the estate were wrong in citing his involvement as an example of conflict of interest in recent legislation affecting the estate.
"They're just trying to put a spin on it," he said.
Dowling sold the land at Kula-ml6 Joseph
Soukimalu, mauka of Pukalani, for more than $5 million. Bishop Estate is using it as the site for a permanent Maui campus. The school is scheduled to be completed in fall 1999.
Dowling said Souki provided general advice on the transaction.
In a financial disclosure form filed with the state Ethics Commission last week, Souki reported income of $150,000 to $200,000 from his real-estate brokerage.
A Bishop Estate spokesman was unavailable for comment.
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