Critics of trustees
agree on goals,
back inquiry

‘We are together,’ say the authors
of ‘Broken Trust’ and the supporters
of Kamehameha Schools

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Leading critics of the Bishop Estate apparently have softened their demand that four of the five sitting trustees be removed immediately, saying that they will wait while Attorney General Margery Bronster investigates the management of the estate.

Toni Lee, president of the 2,000-member Na Pua a Ke Alii Pauahi, said today at a joint news conference that it will be up to Bronster to decide whether the five Bishop Estate trustees should keep their jobs.

"If any trustee is found to have violated a fiduciary duty, such a trustee must be held personally accountable for any damages and, if appropriate, removed from office," Lee said in front of the state Judiciary Building.

Originally, Bishop Estate critics wanted the immediate removal of all of the trustees, except for Oswald Stender.

The authors of a critical newspaper commentary, which spurred Gov. Ben Cayetano into action, and an organization of students, parents and Kamehameha Schools alumni say they stand united in "common beliefs and goals."

By Dean Sensui, Star-Bulletin
Toni Lee, center, president of Na Pua a Ke Alii Pauai,
talks to reporters today. She is flanked by Beadie Kanahele
Dawson, left, the group's lawyer, and Gladys Brandt,
a co-author of "Broken Trust."

Following a meeting last night, the five authors of essay, entitled "Broken Trust," and the seven elected leaders of Na Pua a Ke Alii Pauahi, the Kamehameha Schools organization, say they remain "united in our desire to protect the will and the legacy of Princess Pauahi Bishop."

In the joint statement, two groups said:

The trustees must protect the will and the legacy of Bishop.

The trustees as "stewards of the will" and the legacy of Bishop must be accountable to the court and the beneficiaries.

Kamehameha students, their parents and the alumni are beneficiaries of the will and the legacy of Bishop.

It is imperative that politics and personal economic considerations "not be a driving force behind the appointment of trustees. Appointments must be made in a way that generates public confidence."

"Our ultimate goal is that Kamehameha Schools provide quality education to the maximum number of students, and do so in a nurturing environment. This will honor Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop," Lee said.

Gladys Brandt, one of the co-authors of "Broken Trust," said the joint news conference was to show the public that "we are together."

By Dean Sensui, Star-Bulletin
Beadie Kanahele Dawson, Toni Lee and Gladys Brandt,
front, left to right. In the background to the right of Brandt
can be seen "Broken Trust" co-authors Randall Roth,
Samuel P. King and Msgr. Charles Kekumano.

They said they support Bronster's investigation into the way the five Bishop Estate trustees - Henry Peters, Richard Wong, Gerard Jervis, Lokelani Lindsey and Stender - have managed the 110-year-old institution.

They urged "all those with pertinent information to cooperate fully" with her investigation into the management of $10 billion charitable trust.

In a commentary published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin Aug. 9, five prominent leaders of the native Hawaiian and legal communities called on Bronster to investigate Bishop Estate trustees' management of Kamehameha Schools and the estate's financial assets.

Besides Brandt, former principal of Kamehameha School for Girls and chairwoman of the University of Hawaii's Board of Regents, the other authors are: Walter Heen, retired state appeals court judge and a former state legislator and city councilman; Msgr. Charles Kekumano, chairman of the Queen Liliuokalani Estate and a retired Catholic priest; Samuel P. King, senior U.S. District Court judge, and Randall Roth, University of Hawaii law professor who specializes in wills, trusts and taxes.

The call for accountability comes while an independent investigation is under way by court-appointed fact-finder Patrick Yim into allegations that trustees are micromanaging Kamehameha Schools. Yim is expected to give the court a report tomorrow.

Cayetano ordered Bronster's investigation following the publication of "Broken Trust."

On Tuesday, Bronster said she would not hesitate to use her subpoena powers in the investigation. She has said that her intention is not to duplicate the efforts of Yim or the master's report on the estate's financial dealings.

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