Bobby N. Harmon, CPCU, ARM
September 23, 2003
VIA fax only @ (559) 490-1919
Ms. Julie A. Schermerhorn, Supervisor, and
Mr. Justin W. Schuck, Case Manager
American Arbitration Association
6795 North Palm Avenue, 2nd Floor
Fresno, California 93704
RE: Mary Lou Woo, Trustee v. Bobby N. Harmon
Case No. 74 166 00491 03 JUSC
Dear Ms. Schermerhorn and Mr. Schuck:
In my letter of September 20, 2003, I mentioned that Steven Guttman had previously claimed, “There is nothing in [her] resume which raises the question of conflict,” and that my objections are “not reasonable, logically consistent or legally appropriate.” Since I had not reviewed Judith Neustadter’s resume for some time, I decided to pull it out of my folder to check it again for possible conflicts of interest. What I found upon careful reading of her resume, is yet another material conflict-of-interest in this case.
Under her Alternative Dispute Resolution Experience, Ms. Neustadter states that she represented the counties of Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai in Integrated Resource Planning facilitation, Public Utilities Commission. There is little doubt that this would have involved matters that involved real estate developments of Kamehameha Schools. Furthermore, two of the trustees for Kamehameha Schools, Constance H. Lau, and Diane J. Plotts are directors and officers of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI).
Constance H. Lau, according to her biography, became both treasurer at Hawaiian Electric Company and assistant treasurer of Hawaiian Electric Industries in 1987. In 1989, she was elevated to treasurer of HEI, a position she holds to this day, along with that of financial vice president and treasurer of HEI’s international subsidiary, HEI Power Corp. Ms. Lau is also a trustee, executive committee member, and chair of Punahou School’s investment committee, which connects her to the Kamehameha Schools / Steve Case / Grove Farm / Guido Giacometti business relationships discussed in a previous letter.
Diane J. Plotts was a partner in Hemmeter Investment Company. Her work there included the development of subsidiary entities including the Hyatt Regency Maui, Westin Maui and Westin Kauai, among others. She currently hold business directorships with Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc., was past chair of HEI’s Audit Committee and current chair of its Compensation Committee. She currently chairs the audit committees for Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., and American Savings Bank.
In light of this new information, I would again question the truthfulness of Ms. Neustadter’s original Disclosure Statement as well as Mr. Guttman’s statement that there is nothing in her resume “which raises the question of conflict.”
In order to gain a better understanding of the AAA’s role in this matter, I would also like to ask how Ms. Neustadter’s name came to appear on the short list (two names) of prospective candidates as arbitrator. Was this a strictly random selection, or did she just happen to be the next name on the list? Or, was her name one of those suggested by Mr. Guttman? Would you please explain the selection process.
I would also ask if my objections to Ms. Neustadter’s appointment have been relayed to her. I note that your letters requesting a response to these conflict-of-interest questions have all been directed to Mr. Guttman, rather than to Ms. Neustadter herself. I have raised this question before, but I do not believe I have received an answer. To me, it would seem that the proper protocol would be to put these questions directly to Ms. Neustadter for her response, rather than to Mr. Guttman, who is the Claimant’s attorney. Could you please explain the applicable procedures in this case.
Your prompt reply to these important questions will be appreciated.
Bobby N. Harmon
cc’s: Mary Lou Woo, Trustee, c/o Steven Guttman (via fax @ 808-529-7177)
J.P. Schmidt, Hawaii Insurance Commissioner (via fax @ 808-586-2806)
Terry Mullen, CEO/President, John Mullen & Co. (via fax @ 808-531-0053)
Casimer Fidele, Island Insurance Co. (via fax @ 808-539-9738)
Attorney General Mark Bennett (via fax @ 808-586-1239)
Dr. Randy Roth, Office of the Governor (via fax @ 808-586-0006)
Janet S. Hughes, Mgr., IRS (via fax @ 303-844-3596)
Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., et al., U.S. Dept. of Justice (via fax @ 202-514-1116)
This is a leaf from
The Harmon Arbitration
~ ~ ~
To fly to the top of the tree
The Catbird Seat