Monday, April 26, 1999

Testimony runs
both pro and con for
Margery Bronster

By Star-Bulletin Staff


Margery Bronster's nomination for a second term as attorney general drew both praise and opposition today, aimed at senators who are likely to decide her fate this week.

1999 Hawaii State Legislature Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue and Prosecutor Peter Carlisle urged the Senate to confirm her, while the Office of Hawaiian Affairs protested her nomination.

"From my perspective, I would think it (Bronster's nomination) would be a slam dunk," said Donohue.

"Margery Bronster's confirmation should have nothing to do with politics," Carlisle said.

But OHA trustee Frenchy DeSoto said Bronster has not done a good job representing native Hawaiians.

"The Hawaiian community is against her reappointment," DeSoto said. She said Bronster's "sole claim to glory" is the Bishop Estate investigation, and she said it is incorrect to say the opposition to her nomination is based on the estate.

A group of Kamehameha Schools alumni, students, parents and friends, though, says Senate opposition to Bronster's renomination is motivated by politics that stretch as high as the Bishop Estate trustees.

"No one stands to gain more from Bronster's removal than the current trustees of the Bishop Estate," said Toni Lee, president of Na Pua A Ke Ali'i Pauahi.

Bronster seeks the removal of four of the five trustees.

Protesters at an OHA rally at the Capitol today carried signs that said, "A'ole Bronster." Other signs were the same ones that appeared in rallies of Bishop Estate supporters.

Donohue and Carlisle said their views are shared by police chiefs and prosecutors on all islands. Carlisle cited Bronster's leadership on domestic violence issues and her efforts to collect $4 million by seizing goods from criminals. He said that, despite budget restrictions, Bronster's office has always placed a high priority on law enforcement.

Donohue said Bronster has helped secure grants for training, drug eradication and efforts to reduce auto theft.

Senators opposed to Bronster's nomination say they have concerns about how her office has handled the Felix consent decree, Hawaiian issues, the challenge to the general election results , and why other departments are seeking outside attorneys for legal help.

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