Friday, December 18, 1998

Court to name master for
look at Bishop move

By Rick Daysog


A state judge will appoint a special master to review a controversial reorganization of Bishop Estate's assets.

Probate Judge Colleen Hirai today said te master will examine the estate's transfer of its passive investment in Goldman Sachs Group and other entities from its Pauahi Holdings for-profit subsidiary to a nonprofit entity known as Kamehameha Activities Association.

The master will report back to the court at a Feb. 12 hearing.

Attorney General Margery Bronster argued that corporate reorganization is a rewriting of the will of the estate's founder. The deal also removes much of the estate's assets from the overview of the state Probate Court and the Attorney General's office.

Bruce Graham, attorney for the estate, said Bronster is mistaken, saying the reorganization does not remove any assets from the estate.

In court papers, Graham has argued that the transaction, which was completed in July, will allow the trust to expand educational programs for native Hawaiian students.

Graham said the plan brings the assets closer to Kamehameha Schools to support educational programs directly and will help finance an ambitious expansion of educational programs.

The estate is now considering high school programs for its neighbor island elementary schools and is looking to expand its preschool programs for native Hawaiian children.

"She's shooting at something she doesn't know anything about and she's shooting wrong," Graham said.

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