Lindsey pledge to
Wong calls Bronster'sBy Rick Daysog
kickback charge 'a lie,' while Lindsey
says removal attempts
Bishop Estate trustees Richard Wong and Lokelani Lindsey have vowed to fight Attorney General Margery Bronster's efforts to oust them from the board, calling her removal petition an attack on the trust.
Wong said he was upset with Bronster's allegation that he received a kickback from his brother-in-law Jeffrey Stone, saying it was defamatory.
"The suggestion that I took a kickback to perform my duties is a lie," Wong said. "It is a malicious attack on my honor . . . It is an attack on this institution's honor."
On Thursday, Bronster filed court papers targeting the removal of Wong, Lindsey and trustee Henry Peters, citing a pattern of mismanagement, self-dealing, cronyism and campaign finance abuses.
She raised the possibility that trustees may have conducted criminal acts.
According to Bronster, Wong and Peters received kickbacks when Stone and companies affiliated with him paid inflated prices to the two trustees in 1996 for their Makiki condominiums.
The state alleged that Stone bought the condominiums in exchange for favorable financing terms for the purchase by one of his partnerships of the 229-unit Kalele Kai condominium project in Hawaii Kai.
Philip Brown, Wong's attorney, said Wong recused himself from all estate decisions involving Kalele Kai. He also noted that the estate benefited from the partnership's acquisition of Kalele Kai, which had been financially troubled.
Peters also has denied wrongdoing.
Lindsey, meanwhile, characterized Bronster's removal petition as a political attack on the trust. Lindsey said she was outraged by Bronster's allegations that she mismanaged the estate-run Kamehameha Schools, and abused and intimidated teachers.
Kamehameha Schools improved dramatically under her stewardship, according to Lindsey.
"If my insistence that the school does everything it can do and should do for the children means that I have micromanaged . . . then I am guilty," Lindsey said.
Kamehameha teachersBy Debra Barayuga
union files labor charges
vs. Bishop Estate
The attorney for the faculty union at Kamehameha Schools has filed three separate unfair labor practice charges against Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate.
Dean Choy, attorney for the Kamehameha Schools Faculty Association, filed the charges with the local office of the National Labor Relations Board after the estate failed to respond to a deadline yesterday set by the association.
Teachers felt they had exhausted every means available and are saddened that they once again have had to turn to the labor relations board for relief for something as simple as letting them hold after-school meetings on campus, the attorney said.
"It's so blatantly illegal that teachers held hope that ultimately the trustees would listen to reason and legal precedence we cited showing it was illegal," Choy said.
Choy said the lack of response was the latest example of Bishop Estate trustees' adversarial attitude toward the teachers, even more so since the faculty association was certified by the labor relations board in March.
"We've been met with stonewalling -- no response, no credence to the points we tried to make," Choy said. "The message is clear. It's a backhanded way of showing what they think of the teachers' position and voice."
The faculty association had asked the estate to remedy what they considered punitive actions against faculty.
The charges include denying the faculty association use of meeting rooms on campus during after-school hours; eliminating a $1,700 stipend previously paid to grade-level chairmen for additional responsibilities beyond teaching; and distributing a new employee handbook that contained vague and ambiguous rules that could be open to interpretation and can subject employees to disciplinary action on a selective basis.
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