Tuesday, February 2, 1999

Lindsey ‘points finger’
at Yim in testimony

By Rick Daysog


With tears in her eyes, Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey testified that court-appointed fact-finder Patrick Yim pointed a finger at her and loudly told her to relinquish oversight of the estate's educational programs.

Speaking before Circuit Judge Bambi Weil yesterday, Lindsey recounted a heated Nov. 10, 1997, board meeting in which Yim presented trustees with his preliminary report on the controversy at the estate-run Kamehameha Schools.

At one point, Yim told her that he "was going to be her worst nightmare," Lindsey said. Lindsey believes that Yim had already made up his mind to blame her for problems at the Kapalama Heights campus prior to hearing her side of the story.

"It was a bad day for me and it got progressively worse," said Lindsey, who told Yim during the November meeting that she had already relinquished her oversight duties in August.

"I was very, very upset."

Lindsey's remarks come during her fifth day of testimony in the trial to remove her from the Bishop Estate board. The 3-month-old trial was off for two weeks before resuming yesterday.

Trustees Gerard Jervis and Oswald Stender are seeking Lindsey's ouster on the grounds that she breached her fiduciary duties and is unfit to serve as trustee of the multibillion-dollar charitable organization.

Yim, a retired Circuit Court judge, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

But his report, which was unsealed on Dec. 4, 1997, said Lindsey managed by intimidation, fostered an environment of favoritism and undermined school President Michael Chun's authority.

Many of the points raised in the Yim report are echoed in Jervis' and Stender's removal petition.

Lindsey's attorneys David Gierlach and Michael Green are attempting to show that the Yim report is based on rumors that were circulating through the Kamehameha Schools. They argue that Lindsey was victimized by an entrenched group of teachers and administrators who took offense to her attempts to improve the school's educational programs.

Under questioning by Gierlach yesterday, Lindsey testified that she believed Chun was not an experienced educator and had not done enough to further education for Kamehameha Schools' students.

She said under Chun's tenure, the school did not have a strategic plan in place.

In 1996, the full board asked Chun to develop a strategic plan but he was unable to deliver, prompting her to take over the task, she said.

"Mike Chun is a very good person and has a lot of charisma," Lindsey said. "My assessment is that he did not have the educational expertise."

Lindsey's testimony resumes today.

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