Friday, June 18, 1999

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Former Sen. Milton Holt, left, leaves court
with attorney Reginald Minn.

Grand jury hears from
Milton Holt as estate
probe continues

By Rick Daysog


One day after a state judge threw out indictments against Bishop Estate trustee Richard "Dickie" Wong and his family, an Oahu grand jury has resumed its investigation of the multibillion-dollar trust.

The secret panel yesterday heard testimony from former state Sen. Milton Holt about an alleged illegal campaign contribution scheme involving estate workers.

The grand jury also questioned Rodney Park, principal executive of the estate's administration group, and former trust executive Gilbert Tam.

Holt, who appeared in Circuit Court with his attorney Reginald Minn, had no comment. Park and Tam also declined comment.

The grand jury is looking into an alleged scheme in which estate employees directed several of its vendors to pay campaign debts owed by Holt and state Sen. Marshall Ige.

Holt earlier was indicted by a separate federal grand jury for diverting campaign funds for personal use. He has pleaded not guilty and is asking for the dismissal of that indictment.

Circuit Judge Michael Town yesterday dismissed the grand jury's April indictment of Wong, Wong's wife, Mari, and her brother, local developer Jeffrey Stone, saying the process was tainted by the testimony of Stone's former lawyer Richard Frunzi.

Frunzi is serving jail time on the mainland after he was convicted of federal money-laundering charges.

State prosecutors have alleged that Wong received a kickback from Stone for preferential treatment in a deal involving estate land in Hawaii Kai. Stone and Wong have denied the charges.

In a related matter, trustee Henry Peters yesterday asked Town to dismiss a November indictment stemming from the same Hawaii Kai land deal. Renee Yuen, Peters' attorney, said the grand jury was tainted by similar testimony from Frunzi. A hearing is set for June 28.

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