Saturday, October 24, 1998

Student petition
seeks Bishop Estate
trustees’ ouster

Kamehameha seniors
collected over 800 signatures
during a four-day period

By Rick Daysog



More than 800 Kamehameha Schools students have signed a petition seeking the temporary removal of the Bishop Estate's trustees.

In court papers filed yesterday, the high school students said they supported Attorney General Margery Bronster's petition for the immediate, interim removal of the estate's five trustees, who oversee the operations of Kamehameha Schools.

The signatures, gathered over a four-day period by Kamehameha School's senior class, represent more than 40 percent of Kamehameha's high school students.

The signatures were included in legal papers filed yesterday by the 2,700-member student, teacher and parent group Na Pua a Ke Ali'i Pauahi, which supported Bronster's request for removal.

Na Pua also included signatures from more than 3,000 parents, alumni, students, staffers and community members who support the trustees' ouster.

"They're interested in a resolution," said Beadie Kanahele Dawson, attorney for Na Pua. "I think the discomfort that students feel over this whole thing has been very discouraging. I think they would like to get on to being students."

A Bishop Estate spokesman could not be reached for immediate comment.

The legal filings come just prior to hearing on Friday by Probate Judge Colleen Hirai on whether to temporarily remove the trustees. The hearing also will cover requests for surcharges against trustees by the estate's court-appointed master, Colbert Matsumoto.

A petition by Bronster to permanently remove at least three Bishop Estate trustees is scheduled for hearing sometime next year.

Bronster, who began her investigation of the estate's trustees last year, has alleged that several board members -- Richard Wong, Henry Peters and Lokelani Lindsey -- have benefited at the expense of the trust and have mismanaged Kamehameha Schools.

The three trustees have denied the allegations, saying her investigation was politically motivated.

In supporting Bronster's petition, Dawson said the estate's current trustees will continue to harm Kamehameha Schools if they remain in control of the estate and the schools.

"Perhaps the most devastating damage to students, parents, administrators, faculty and alumni of Kamehameha Schools has been the realization that the ill effects cause by the acts and activities of the current trustees will most certainly deepen and worsen as long as these trustees retain their self-serving power and grip on management," Dawson said.

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