10 TO WATCH IN 2003:

Lingle adviser valued
for devotion, rationality

Attorney Randy Roth played
a key role in the restructuring
of the former Bishop Estate

By Richard Borreca

With an auditor's precision, attorney and CPA Randy Roth has become a key member of the kitchen Cabinet of Gov. Linda Lingle.

Ten to watch in 2003
The Star-Bulletin is spotlighting 10 people who may have a big impact on Hawaii this year.

A former president of the Hawaii Bar Association, the University of Hawaii law professor has a steadfast, rational style that shows his Jesuit educational background and his devotion to his cause of good government.

Roth founded and guided the "Price of Paradise" public education project that featured books, newspaper articles and a public radio show, all dedicated to looking for ways to reform Hawaii government.

As bar association president, he encouraged further scrutiny of how judges were selected.

Roth, 54, also played a key role in arguing that the former Bishop Estate trustees had abused their duty. His efforts were one reason the estate, now known as the Kamehameha Schools, changed so dramatically.

Today, Roth serves as Lingle's senior adviser, a position he took after working behind the scenes during Lingle's 2002 campaign.

While Lingle was still campaigning, she asked Roth to start work on her possible new administration.

Lingle said she valued Roth's ability to impartially go through all the viewpoints of an issue without leading to a single conclusion.

Lingle's chief of staff, Bob Awana, said: "He is able to take very complex matters and make them understandable. He just doesn't summarize; he understands it and then is able convey that understanding."

Awana, whose relaxed, avuncular style serves as a counterpoint to Roth's precise drive, said Roth's skill is in bringing different groups of people together and finding a common thread.

"He really cares; he is driven and he cares about doing the job right," Awana said. "We call him 'Mr. Meeting' because he is always filling the conference room with groups of people."

Roth agrees, saying his mission inside Lingle's office is to "gather advice and stay in touch with other points of view."

"I am definitely part of the team," he said. "We are there to help her accomplish her goals as governor."

Roth graduated from Regis College with a degree in economics, and received law degrees from University of Denver and the University of Miami School of Law. He has said his challenge is to further Lingle's administration.

"I am doing what she asks, but I have never been happier," he said as the new administration was starting.

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