Thursday, August 13, 1998

Attorney General
wants Lindsey to
step down

The temporary action is asked
as a condition to delay
Lindsey's trial

By Rick Daysog


Attorney General Margery Bronster is asking Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey to step down temporarily from the multi-billion-dollar trust's board, as a condition for a six-month delay in a trial over her removal as trustee.

But state attorneys today denied a news report that Bronster has decided to seek the permanent removal of Lindsey or fellow trustees Henry Peters and Richard Wong, as part of her year-long investigation into charges of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duties by estate trustees.

Yesterday, the state filed court papers in response to a request by Lindsey's attorneys for the delay of a November trial over a removal petition by trustees Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis.

The state said it could agree to the delay if Lindsey voluntarily stepped down in the interim. The state added that its probe into alleged breaches by trustees could result in legal actions that overlap Jervis' and Stender's petition.

The duo's removal petition, which alleged that Lindsey breached her duties and was unfit to serve on the estate's five-member board, is independent of the state investigation.

Michael Green, Lindsey's attorney, said Lindsey has no plans to step down. He said he wanted to change the hearing date to ensure a fair trial, citing the large amount of evidence and witnesses.

Green added that he's not surprised the state would be seeking to remove one or more trustees, given the large amount of money spent on the investigation.

An attorney for Stender, Crystal Rose, opposes any delay of the trial date, saying Lindsey would continue to harm Kamehameha Schools and the estate.

The state said it has not yet made a formal decision on what legal actions to take as a result of its year-long investigation.

Many have speculated that Bronster would likely seek the removal of Peters, Wong and Lindsey; and fine Stender and Jervis.

Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones said the state has not yet finished the evidence-gathering stage of investigation.

The state has not been able to interview Wong or Peters.

The state also is seeking information on employee and trustee transactions on charge cards issued to the estate-owned Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center Inc., Jones said.

Wong and Peters have opposed subpoenas seeking their testimony, saying they did not want their interviews to be videotaped. A hearing on their opposition is set for tomorrow. A spokesman for the Bishop Estate had no immediate comment.

"We have not concluded our investigation and we will seek appropriate action when the evidence comes in," Jones said.

"This is what we said a year ago, and that's what we said a month ago, and that's what we are saying today."

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