Wednesday, February 17, 1999

plan ignored staff,
says Stender

The educational plan for
Kamehameha Schools also fueled
disapproval of Bishop trustee
decisions, he says

By Debra Barayuga


Bishop Estate trustee Oswald Stender says he objected to the release of an educational plan developed by Lokelani Lindsey because it failed to include input from staff and teachers at Kamehameha Schools.

Stender, who took the stand for the second day yesterday in the ongoing trial to remove Lindsey, said teachers thought the plan was "concrete" and that they had no opportunity to raise concerns.

The plan also fueled the public's overwhelming disapproval of trustee decisions that "here we go again, spending a lot of money on 'splash,' " Stender said.

The plan was to set into motion by the "Go Forward" initiative -- a strategic plan developed by trustees that charted the direction for Kamehameha Schools into the year 2005. It replaced a similar plan developed by schools President Michael Chun but rejected by trustees.

Lindsey's release of 25,000 glossy brochures outlining the strategic plan were among some of the criticisms Stender raised against Lindsey, then lead trustee for education, during questioning yesterday by his attorney, Crystal Rose.

The strategic plan should have been a collaborative effort, he said, noting that Kamehameha staff and teachers are not resistant to change.

"The problem teachers have is with dictatorial change rather than collaborative change," he said. "If we had collaborative change, I don't think we'd be here today."

Stender and fellow trustee Gerard Jervis are seeking Lindsey's ouster, saying she has damaged student and teacher morale, has usurped the duties of Chun and harmed the schools with her "walk-around management" style.

Lindsey's attorneys have maintained she meant no harm and was only trying to improve the Kapalama Heights campus.

Through questioning, her attorney Michael Green tried to show that the board never gave her any guidelines or parameters as to her duties and responsibilities as oversight trustee for education, and that her appointment to the board was her first. Lindsey stepped down as lead trustee for education as soon as the board adopted the strategic plan.

Green also attempted to show that Chun had overspent on several programs, including the schools' financial aid budget.

Stender denied that he has been "butting heads" with Lindsey since she was appointed trustee in 1993. It wasn't until 1995 that he began questioning some of the decisions she was making, he said.

Star-Bulletin reporter Rick Daysog contributed to this report.

Panel named to address
audit of Bishop Estate

The estate's trustees are disqualified
from taking part in the IRS probe

By Rick Daysog


A state judge has named a five-member independent panel to deal with the Internal Revenue Service's exhaustive audit of the Bishop Estate, two weeks after he disqualified the estate's five trustees from taking part.

Circuit Judge Kevin Chang yesterday named former Honolulu police Chief Francis Keala, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. Treasurer Constance Lau, local attorney Ronald Libkuman, retired Adm. Robert Kihune and former Iolani School headmaster David Coon as special-purpose trustees to address the IRS probe.

The panel -- picked from a list of eight candidates selected by the estate's court-appointed master, Colbert Matsumoto -- will take over trustees' tasks in responding to the IRS' four-year audit of the trust.

On Feb. 4, Chang ruled that trustees could not take any part in the IRS probe due to what he called an actual, adverse and material conflict of interest.

Chang based his previous order on a review of the IRS' preliminary findings and a notice of preliminary adjustments, which the federal agency sent to the estate Jan. 4.

The IRS has inquired about several key issues that may affect board members' personal interests, including trustees' more than $800,000-a-year commissions and various executive perks such as country club memberships and travel expenses.

As for the candidates, all five come from a trust, business or legal background. Coon, who served as headmaster of Iolani School between 1970 and 1992, also served as president of the Hawaii Medical Service Association, and Keala, who served as chief of the Honolulu Police Department for 13 years, is a trustee of St. Louis High School.

Kihune, a 1955 Kamehameha Schools graduate, has headed Waimana Enterprises Inc. after retiring from the Navy in 1994, and Lau has served as HEI's treasurer since 1989.

Libkuman is a longtime trial attorney who now works largely in the mediation and arbitration area.

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