THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE
David C. Farmer, Successor Trustee
Bobby N. Harmon
(Formerly Mary Lou Woo vs. Harmon and James Nicholson vs. Harmon)
United States District Court, District of Hawaii
Judges: David A. Ezra; Kevin S. Chang
~ ~ ~
JUDGE ALAN KAY
Federal judge in a number of important related cases, including the case of Doe vs. Kamehameha Schools.
Address to be determined.
* * * * *
GOOGLING FOR JUDGE ALAN KAY
* * * * *
NEW DISCOVERY (04/14/09): More undisclosed conflicts-of-interest between David C. Farmer, Steven Guttman, Paul Lynch, Judge Alan Kay, Dan Case, etc.:
February 27, 2009
Honolulu law firm files Chapter 11 bankruptcy
All but one of its seven attorneys leave, two start their own law firms
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) - by Linda Chiem
Honolulu law firm Lynch Ichida Thompson & Hirota has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and saw all but one of its attorneys leave the firm this week.
The general practice and civil litigation firm, which employed seven attorneys, filed for bankruptcy reorganization on Feb. 17.
Since then, partners Wesley Ichida, William F. Thompson III and Maile Hirota have left the firm. Two of them have started new firms, according to records with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
The bankruptcy filing, signed by Paul A. Lynch as president of the firm, lists Lynch Ichida Thompson & Hirota’s assets at more than $500,000 and debts at more than $300,000.
The case is scheduled for a March 16 hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert J. Faris. Within days of the bankruptcy filing, the trustee overseeing the case filed a motion to have it dismissed because the petition was missing a key document, the corporate resolution that is supposed to show that the firm’s entire board of directors - the four partners — authorized the filing.
Attorney Steven Guttman of the Honolulu law firm Kessner Umebayashi Bain & Matsunaga said the board didn’t sign off on the filing. He was hired by Ichida and Horita to represent them in the bankruptcy case.
“Mr. Ichida, Mr. Thompson and Ms. Hirota do not support the petition filed by Mr. Lynch,” Guttman told PBN. He said the former partners won’t oppose the motion to dismiss the case.
According to the bankruptcy filing, the law firm’s biggest creditor is ReOrient8 LLC, owed $82,000. Until Feb. 13, Wesley Ichida was listed as the agent for the company, according to state DCCA records, which do not include a description of ReOrient8’s business purpose.
The filing also lists $15,000 owed to Douglas Emmett for the lease on the law firm’s 14th floor offices at 1132 Bishop St. in downtown Honolulu, about $13,500 owed to Marsh & McLennan Cos. for insurance and thousands of dollars owed to companies such as Hawaiian Telcom, Martindale-Hubbell and LexisNexis.
Lynch could not be reached for comment.
Ichida, Thompson and Hirota declined to discuss the bankruptcy filing and their decisions to leave the firm, which was incorporated in 1999.
State DCCA records show that Ichida and Hirota each have established and registered new limited liability law companies in recent weeks. Hirota established Hirota & Associates on Feb. 9.
Ichida joined with another of the firm’s attorneys, Ann Kemp, and established Ichida, Kemp on Feb. 12.
Hirota said another former Lynch attorney, Tony Tran, joined her firm.
Former Lynch attorney Courtney Naso left to work for another law firm.
J. Gregory Turnbull, who was of counsel to the Lynch firm, also has left.
The Hawaii Rules for Professional Conduct prohibit law firms from continuing to use the name of a partner who has left the firm and is actively practicing law elsewhere. It could not be immediately determined how the former Lynch Ichida Thompson & Hirota firm will be renamed.
The firm specialized in civil litigation, bankruptcy, real estate, construction, securities, insurance defense, immigration and family law, and adoptions, according to its Web site.
# # #
LYNCH, ICHIDA, THOMPSON & HIROTA
A Law Corporation
1132 Bishop Street, Suite 1405
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Insurance Defense, Automobile, Product Liability, Professional Liability, Casualty, Coverage Issues, Aviation, Bad Faith, Admiralty and Maritime Law, Securities, Commercial Law, Construction Litigation, Professional Errors and Omissions, Subrogation, Investigation and Adjustment
Firm Profile: Lynch, Ichida, Thompson & Hirota, A Law Corporation (formerly of the Honolulu Office of Case & Lynch and Lynch & Farmer), as of February 1, 1999, formed a law corporation which presently consists of four, general principals, Paul A. Lynch, Wesley W. Ichida, William F. Thompson III, and Maile M. Hirota; two associates, Ann C. Kemp and Tony Tran, and one of counsel, J. Gregory Turnbull.
Language proficiencies in the firm include Tagalog, Ilocano, and Japanese. Our principal office is located in Honolulu, with statewide access to legal services on each of the island counties.
The firm engages in the general practice of law including, civil litigation, emphasizing collections, real property, construction, admiralty, securities, professional errors and omissions, insurance defense, family law, immigration, nationality and international law (including adoptions).
Insurance Company Clients
Aetna Casualty and Surety Company Great American E&S Insurance Company
Hartford Holdings, Inc. Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Company Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company Midland National Life Insurance Company New York Life Insurance Company North American Company for Life and Health Insurance Universal Underwriters Group Zurich American Insurance Group
Non-Insurance Company Clients AAO Services, Inc. Adventist Risk Management, Inc. Brown Jordan International, Inc. Dell Computer Corporation HMS Insurance Agency, Inc. National Mortgage & Finance Co., Ltd. Peerless Coffee Company, Inc. Trivest Partners Whirlpool Corporation Wiss Janney Elstner Associates, Inc. ~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERIES (04/14/09): More undisclosed relationships between David Farmer, Judge Alan Kay, Paul Lynch, Daniel Case, Steve Case, Grove Farm, C. Brewer & Co., Brewer Environmental Services, Robert Katz, Alexander & Baldwin, Guido Giacometti, Judith Fuqua Neustadter, Linda Lingle, Sherry Broder, John Marshall, Ben Cayetano, etc:
~ ~ ~
February 9, 2008
An attorney involved in a challenge to Kamehameha Schools' Hawaiians-only policy reveals the amount of a settlement
By Ken Kobayashi, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Kamehameha Schools made the first move to settle a legal challenge to their admissions policy giving preference to native Hawaiians and later agreed to pay $7 million, a lawyer involved in the case said yesterday.
John Goemans, an attorney for an unnamed non-native Hawaiian student who filed a lawsuit contesting the policy, said the charitable trust offered for the first time to talk about an out-of-court settlement last May, just days before the U.S. Supreme Court was to decide whether to hear the case.
Goemans, a former Big Island attorney recuperating in Florida from heart surgery, and Sacramento, Calif., lawyer Eric Grant, the lead attorney, represented the unnamed student and his mother.
"They (the schools) approached Eric and said we wanted to settle and we have to settle by Friday morning," when it was believed the high court was to make a decision about accepting the case, Goemans said.
He said it appeared the high court would accept their appeal of an 8-7 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the policy.
"They (the schools) were worried about losing in the Supreme Court," Goemans said.
Goemans said he did not know how Grant and the Kamehameha Schools arrived at the $7 million figure.
The hotly disputed federal civil rights lawsuit caused a firestorm of controversy among Kamehameha Schools supporters who believed the challenge struck at the more than century-old admissions policy and the heart of the charitable trust's mission to educate children of Hawaiian ancestry.
The confidential settlement was announced on May 14. Those connected with the case repeatedly refused to disclose the terms.
Goemans said he was disclosing the amount because he said he recently learned from Internal Revenue Service officials that Kamehameha Schools, a tax-exempt charitable trust, cannot keep the figure confidential.
"Because exempt organizations operate in the public good, you got to report all your expenses with particularity, and you cannot keep information relative to those expenses confidential," he said. "It's in the public interest to have full disclosure."
Ann Botticelli, Kamehameha Schools spokeswoman, said yesterday the settlement contained a confidentiality clause.
"We intend to honor the terms, and we will not be discussing the settlement or John Goemans' assertions," she said.
Grant said yesterday he had no comment.
Kamehameha Schools, a multibillion-dollar charitable trust and the state's largest private landowner, was established under the 1883 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. It educates more than 6,700 students at its flagship campus at Kapalama Heights, two other campuses on Maui and the Big Island, and 31 preschools throughout the state.
Senior U.S. District Judge Alan Kay upheld the school's Hawaiians-first policy, but a panel of the appeals court in San Francisco ruled 2-1 that the practice violated federal civil rights laws. That decision triggered statewide protests and marches by school supporters.
Later, a larger appeals court panel voted 8-7 to uphold the policy.
It was an appeal by Grant of that 8-7 ruling that was on the doorsteps of the U.S. Supreme Court when the settlement was announced.
At the time, school officials indicated that the settlement calling for the dismissal of the lawsuit leaves intact the appeals court's 8-7 decision upholding the admissions policy.
But the dismissal does not guarantee that another lawsuit might surface and make its way to the high court, although it would first have to go through the federal trial and appeals courts, where the 8-7 ruling would be considered to be binding on the issue. But even if those who file the new lawsuit lose on those two levels, they could still ask the high court to review the case.
Honolulu attorney David Rosen said he has plaintiffs for a lawsuit to challenge the admissions policy. He said the settlement does not affect his case. Rosen said he expects the suit will be filed this year.
Goemans said Grant received 40 percent, or $2.8 million of the $7 million. Goemans said he is preparing to file his own lawsuit seeking to recover a "reasonable percentage" of the $7 million for his work in the case.
Goemans said he found the unnamed student and arranged for Grant to be the attorney for the student and his mother.
"I put the whole thing together," Goemans said. "But for me there would not have been a $7 million payment."
The student never was admitted to Kamehameha Schools because his case was pending. He has since graduated from high school and had been attending college, Grant said last year.
~ ~ ~
February 9, 2008
Amount of settlement
raises critical concern
By Robert Shikina, firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporters and critics expressed surprise yesterday at the $7 million Kamehameha Schools paid a student to settle a lawsuit disputing its Hawaiians-first admission policy.
One Kamehameha Schools alumnus says disclosure of the settlement with the anonymous, non-Hawaiian student will prompt questions among Hawaiians.
"I'm not happy with $7 million," said Kamehameha Schools alumnus Jan E. Hanohano Dill. "Unfortunately, that's a lot of money, and it's going to create a lot of questions in the Hawaiian community whether it was right or wrong and to continue."
Dill, also a board member of Na Pua a Ke Ali'i Pauahi, a nonprofit group whose members include students, parents, and alumni of Kamehameha Schools, said he continues to support the school's decision.
"I don't know the details, and I think that's something that has to be cleared," he said. "You settle because you want to avoid costs that would be incurred as you go forward."
He added, "I have to believe that they understood that this was something good for the Hawaiian people. ... It will be clear as things unfold whether that was true."
Dill, who is also president of the nonprofit Partners in Development Foundation, said the admissions policy must eventually be addressed and that the settlement avoids this case but does not stop other cases.
Marion Joy, former vice president of Na Pua, called the settlement a "misuse of trust funds."
"The trust is continually going to be challenged," she said. "This is not going to be the last. ... As far as settling for the particular lawsuit, it's not in the best interests of the beneficiaries (of the 1883 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop)."
Kamehameha Schools declined comment.
Honolulu attorney David Rosen, who has sought potential clients to sue Kamehameha over its admissions policy after the settlement, sent out a statement yesterday that said the $7 million settlement was used to "buy off this case."
He added that the trustees should open a campus on the Leeward Coast of Oahu and possibly Molokai where increased educational opportunities are needed.
H. William Burgess, a retired attorney and founder of Aloha for All, a group opposed to Hawaiian sovereignty, said the settlement raises questions about the proper use of the trust funds.
"Normally, trustees, if they're doubtful about doing something, they ask the court to give them instructions," he said. "Yet in this case, the biggest charitable trust, probably in the nation, instead of welcoming the opportunity to get the highest court in the land to settle it, they pay $7 million to leave it open. And it is very much open."
* * *
From The Catbird Seat website:
The Wise Old Owl asks: How much of the settlement amount came from Kamehameha’s insurance companies, and how much came from the trust funds? How much did Kamehameha Schools (and/or their insurance company) spend for defense costs in this case before they decided to settle? Who is their insurance company? Their insurance broker? Who actually signed the Settlement Agreement?
* * *
March 3, 2007
Ruling by high court sought
Attorneys seek a review and reversal of an appeals court's decision
that backed Kamehameha Schools' admission policy
By Alexandre Da Silva, Star-Bulletin
Attorneys for a student challenging Kamehameha Schools' admission policy of giving preference to native Hawaiians have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling upholding the century-old practice.
Eric Grant, a Sacramento, Calif., attorney representing a non-Hawaiian student who was denied admission at the prestigious school, filed the 34-page petition Thursday. It seeks a review and reversal of a December ruling on the case by a 15-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The panel voted 8-7 to affirm U.S. District Judge Alan Kay's 2003 ruling that found Kamehameha's preference policy does not violate federal civil rights laws and has the legitimate purpose of addressing economic and educational imbalances suffered by native Hawaiians.
Kamehameha Schools spokesman Kekoa Paulsen said the school will read the petition and, within 30 days, ask that the high court reject the request.
The student, named as John Doe in court papers, had his application to Kamehameha denied twice after he told the school that none of his grandparents had Hawaiian blood....
... continued at: www.kycbs.net/Bishop7.htm
~ ~ ~
January 9, 2007
Abramoff's Interior link
gets 2 years probation
Prosecutors say lobbyist-government
investigation is still ongoing
By Joel Seidman, Producer
WASHINGTON - A former Interior Department official linked to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to two years probation and a fine of $1000. The official, Roger Stillwell, pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of filing a false financial statement with the department.
Magistrate Judge Alan Kay disregarded a recommendation by both the Department of Justice and Stillwell's attorney for a lesser sentence of six months probation.
Judge Kay said that Stillwell's actions amounted to a "serious violation considering his position" and his years of government service. Kay admonished Stillwell saying there is "no such thing as a free lunch, particularly as provided by lobbyists."
The charges against Stillwell are the first connected to the Abramoff scandal to touch the Interior Department. The charges also mark an expansion of the government's investigation into the influence peddling scandal involving the convicted lobbyist. Prosecutors acknowledged in court that there is still an ongoing investigation involving Abramoff and his contacts with the Department of Interior.
~ ~ ~
November 18, 2005
Sheehan, Waskow, & others convicted for White House protest
Sheehan Convicted In Antiwar Protest
29 Fined for Defiance Outside White House
By Henri E. Cauvin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Cindy Sheehan and 28 other antiwar activists [amog them Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of The Shalom Center] were convicted yesterday of staging an illegal protest outside the White House after they failed in their attempt to deliver petitions to President Bush.
Sheehan, whose son was killed in the Iraq war, and about 370 other protesters were arrested Sept. 26 and charged with demonstrating without a permit. They had marched to the White House to demand a meeting with Bush and to deliver their petitions. When they were turned away, the activists sat on the sidewalk in front of the White House and defied orders to leave.
They were not committing a crime, Sheehan insisted yesterday, a few minutes after she was convicted in the first trial stemming from the episode.
"We were guilty of nothing," she said outside the federal courthouse. "We were only exercising our First Amendment right."
The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Catharine A. Hartzenbusch, said the Code of Federal Regulations requires a permit for a demonstration on the White House sidewalk by more than 25 people. U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay concluded that Sheehan and the others were demonstrating.
"They violated the regulation, I think, knowingly, intentionally, as a means for obtaining a public forum," Kay told the packed courtroom early yesterday afternoon.
Sheehan, 48, of Vacaville, Calif., was part of the first group to challenge the misdemeanor charge in court. Except for Sheehan, all the defendants represented themselves, and at times the two-day proceeding seemed like a law school class, as Kay tried to accommodate the legal novices appearing before him.
Aided by veteran civil rights lawyer Mark Goldstone and by Sheehan's attorney, Jon W. Norris, the pro se defendants picked a few from among themselves to make an opening statement, question witnesses, deliver closing arguments and make a final, and fruitless, plea for leniency.
Some cases were dropped by prosecutors as the trial got underway. That was not necessarily a cause for celebration among those who were off the hook, including a woman who protested, "I don't want to be dismissed." The judge told her that it was entirely within the government's power to dismiss the charge, with or without explanation.
From start to finish, it was a trial unlike most that unfold in the courthouse, as one defendant after another pilloried Bush from the well of the courtroom and from the witness stand.
Delivering the opening statement for the pro se defendants, Virginia Rodino of Baltimore launched into a denunciation of the war in Iraq, only to be cut off by Kay. "You want to make a political statement, and I'm not going to allow it," he told her.
When defendants took the stand, Kay often was forced to step in, but usually not before the witness-defendant managed a choice comment or two.
"I believe that Bush is a war criminal and he should be on trial," said Joy First of Madison, Wis.
Sheehan, who rose to prominence with her vigil last summer outside the president's ranch in Texas, was the last of the activists to testify.
Sitting down on that sidewalk, she said, was the act of a citizen who had -- with speeches, faxes and e-mails -- exhausted her other options for gaining the ear of the president. "I have tried to petition my government for redress of wrong, and I have never been answered," she said.
In asserting their innocence, she and the other defendants argued that the right to petition was protected under the First Amendment.
But Kay said the activists' actions went beyond petitioning the government, and he rejected that defense and others that were put forward, including challenges to arrest procedures and the contention that a permit had been issued.
All 29 were guilty as charged, Kay said, before ordering each defendant to pay a fine and a court fee totaling $75.
As the judge left the bench, the activists erupted into the song "We Shall Overcome."
~ ~ ~
June 16, 2005
Fourth federal judge
is sworn in
J. Michael Seabright fills a seat
left vacant by U.S. District
Judge Alan Kay in 2000
By Mary Vorsino, Star-Bulletin
Before more than 100 colleagues, friends and family members, former assistant U.S. attorney J. Michael Seabright was sworn in yesterday as Hawaii's fourth full-time federal judge.
I feel blessed now to be part of this judicial family," Seabright, 46, told those who gathered at the U.S. District Courthouse for the event. "I will listen to all who come before me, learn from all who come before me."
Seabright filled a seat left vacant in 2000 after U.S. District Judge Alan Kay went on semiretired status. Seabright is expected to ease a heavy caseload for the state's federal judges, who now preside over about 400 trials a year.
"We've been waiting a long time for my replacement," Kay said.
Chief U.S. District Judge David Ezra said it has been "far too long for Hawaii to go without an active federal judge."
Ezra praised Seabright for his community service and strong family ties. "It is a great pleasure for all of us to have Judge Seabright on this bench," he said. "He is a dedicated and loving family man."
In April the U.S. Senate voted 98-0 to confirm Seabright, two months after he was nominated by President Bush. He was one of three candidates Gov. Linda Lingle recommended for the lifetime post.
The other two were state Attorney General Mark Bennett and former state chief labor negotiator Ted Hong.
Ezra and fellow U.S. District Judges Helen Gillmor and Susan Oki Mollway commended Seabright for his trial history.
"We're delighted that he is the one," Mollway said.
Ezra swore Seabright in while the new judge was flanked by his wife and two children. Seabright received a standing ovation as his family helped him put on his black judge's robe.
Seabright joined the U.S attorney's office in 1990 and was named head of the white-collar crime section in 2002.
He prosecuted a number of high-profile white-collar crime cases, including those involving former Honolulu City Councilman Andy Mirikitani, former state Sen. Milton Holt, former state House Speaker Daniel Kihano and eight former Honolulu liquor inspectors.
"This is a great day for the people of Hawaii," said Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals Judge Craig Nakamura, who was an assistant U.S. attorney alongside Seabright until 2004. "He cares deeply about the community. ... He always took the high road. I know he's got a good heart."
Seabright got his law degree from George Washington University in 1984 and moved to Honolulu, where he worked at the law firm Carlsmith Ball. In 1987 he started working with the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., before returning to Hawaii.
~ ~ ~
February 2, 2004
Israeli suspected of selling nukes
to India and Pakistan
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - An Israeli businessman accused of being a middleman in the nuclear black market worked to supply not only Pakistan but also its arch-rival India, court records indicate.
South Africa-based Asher Karni faces felony charges of exporting nuclear bomb
triggers to Pakistan. But court files in the case also include e-mail exchanges between
Karni and an Indian businessman who was trying secretly to buy material for two Indian
"Be careful to avoid any reference to the customer name," warned one message from Karni's Indian contact, Raghavendra "Ragu" Rao of Foretek Marketing (Pvt.) Ltd.
The messages offer a rare glimpse into such dealings. Federal prosecutors filed them in court as part of their attempts to persuade a judge to keep Karni behind bars before his trial.
After conferring with U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay on Thursday, lawyers for both sides agreed to postpone a bond hearing for Karni until next Tuesday. L. Barrett Boss, one of Karni's lawyers, declined comment after the hearing.
Karni, 50, has pleaded innocent. Federal agents arrested him on New Year's Day when he arrived in Denver for a ski vacation.
Authorities accuse Karni of using front companies and falsified documents to buy nuclear bomb triggers in the United States and ship them to Pakistan.
The United States is pressuring Pakistan to shut down the black-market network it used to supply its nuclear weapons program and in turn to supply Iran, North Korea and Libya with nuclear technology. A key scientist in Pakistan's nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, said this month that he ran the network but insisted Pakistan's government was not involved.
Rao's e-mails from India ask Karni to procure three kinds of high-tech equipment while concealing that they were meant for the two rocket labs. The United States restricts exports of missile-related material to the two organizations, the Liquid Propulsion Systems Center and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center.
An August 2002 e-mail from Rao to Karni warns Karni to conceal the final customer of an accelerometer to the LPSC, noting its export is restricted because of its "possibility of being used in guidance systems for missiles."
Rao did not respond to AP e-mails seeking comment Thursday.
Prosecutors said they found his e-mails while searching a laptop computer and six computer discs Karni had when he was arrested.
The court files also include records of other deals Karni made with his contact in Pakistan, Humayun Khan of the company Pakland PME. One involved Khan's urgent request last May for Karni to buy infrared sensors for AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles - which Pakistan uses on its F-16 fighter planes for air-to-air combat.
While it is unclear whether that deal went through, the request shows Karni must have known Khan had ties to the Pakistani military, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Bratt argued in court documents.
Another deal which apparently was completed was Humayun Khan's request for a sophisticated oscilloscope, a measuring device that could be used in nuclear weapons programs. For that deal, the documents indicate, Karni used the same U.S. intermediary he used for the bomb triggers: Giza Technologies Inc. of Seacaucus, New Jersey.
In an August e-mail to Giza head Zeki Bilmen, Karni said he had a "new project" for Giza. "It is very important that they will not know it is coming to S.A. (South Africa)," Karni wrote.
Karni in May had asked the oscilloscope maker, Tektronix Inc., if he could buy an oscilloscope for Pakistan, but the company told him to ask for a U.S. export license first, court records indicate. There is no indication Karni contacted Tektronix directly again.
Bilmen has declined comment. Neither he nor his company have been charged, though Bratt wrote that agents searched Giza's offices in December at the same time South African police raided Karni's offices in Cape Town.
The criminal case against Karni centers on his efforts to buy devices called triggered spark gaps from PerkinElmer Optoelectronics of Salem, Mass. The devices can be used in machines to break up kidney stones, but exports are restricted because they also are key to triggering nuclear detonations.
A PerkinElmer representative in France rebuffed Karni's efforts to buy spark gaps last spring, saying Karni had to certify they would not be used in nuclear weapons. Khan urged Karni to try harder, writing in an e-mail: "I know it is difficult but that's why we came to know each other."
Karni then used Giza as a front to buy 66 spark gaps from PerkinElmer, prosecutors allege.
Giza said on shipping documents the spark gaps were destined for a South African hospital, but Karni repackaged them and sent them on to Pakistan, court documents allege.
A court filing from Karni's Colorado lawyers includes a letter purportedly from the Pakistani user of the triggers, saying they had been sent to "Agha Khan Foundation University and Hospitals" in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Aga Khan Foundation does not have any hospitals in Sri Lanka, however. Its hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, has only one of the kidney stone treatment machines. PerkinElmer executives told U.S. authorities that even the largest hospital would need only two or three of the triggers for a kidney treatment center, not dozens of them.
~ ~ ~
November 17, 2003
Trustees Celebrate Ruling Upholding
The Board of Trustees of Kamehameha Schools today celebrated federal Judge Alan Kay's ruling upholding the Schools' 116-year old policy of offering admissions preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry.
"This is an incredible day for Kamehameha Schools," said board chair Constance Lau. "We are ecstatic that what Hawaiians have always felt was right, what we have always felt was pono, has been upheld today in a court of law."
In upholding the preference policy, Judge Kay noted Princess Pauahi's intent as expressed in 1887 by her husband, Charles Reed Bishop, that her schools educate Hawaiian children first. He also agreed that Hawaiians continue to suffer educational and societal imbalances as a result of historical wrongs.
Kay stressed that Kamehameha Schools is a private institution, and said that in its 1993 Apology Resolution, the U.S. Congress determined that the imbalances resulted in part from the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893.
Trustee Douglas Ing noted, "Judge Kay's ruling is important because it recognizes Kamehameha Schools' role in improving the capability and well-being of Hawaiians through education. We understand today's ruling will be appealed and that we face another legal battle in Judge Ezra's courtroom tomorrow, however, we are hopeful that the U.S. judicial system will recognize the importance of Kamehameha to the Hawaiian community and the entire state."
"Kamehameha Schools is a symbol of hope for the Hawaiian community and this ruling is a restoration of that hope," said Trustee Nainoa Thompson. "Today's judgement is one that will further unite the Hawaiian people and all those who care about Hawai`i."
Trustee Diane Plotts expressed gratitude for the overwhelming public support shown over the last few months. "The displays of support from the entire community -- from emails to petition signatures to participation in unity marches and celebrations of Hawaiian culture -- have encouraged us tremendously."
Kamehameha Schools supporters celebrated Judge Kay's ruling with KS trustees by chanting and singing the school song.
Along with his fellow trustees, Admiral Robert Kihune thanked those gathered at court for their unwavering and dedicated support. "I can imagine our beloved Pauahi smiling down on all of us today."
~ ~ ~
July 10, 1998
Alleged drug-debt murder punishable by death
A murder apparently committed over a $100 drug debt could lead to life in prison or perhaps even the death penalty for a man accused of being a career criminal.
A federal grand jury yesterday indicted Richard "China" Chong for murder, firearm and drug offenses in the shooting death of William Noa at a Makaha beach park in September of last year.
Because the murder was allegedly committed with a gun and involved drug trafficking, Chong could face the death penalty.
U.S. Attorney Steve Alm said he is still evaluating whether to recommend the death penalty....
~ ~ ~
July 25, 2000
lawyer to represent
The Texas man specializes
in death-penalty cases
By Debra Barayuga, Star-Bulletin
A federal magistrate has appointed Texas lawyer Richard Burr, an expert in capital punishment cases, to represent Richard Chong in his recent motion to withdraw his guilty plea and stand trial.
Burr represented Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh during his trial and more recently Eugene Frederick Boyce, a drifter who was found unfit to stand trial for the slaying of a Big Island park ranger last December.
Chong, charged in what would have been Hawaii's first death penalty case in decades, pleaded guilty under a plea agreement for using a firearm in the 1997 killing of William Noa Jr. in a drug-trafficking offense.
U.S. Magistrate Barry Kurren said yesterday it would be appropriate that Chong be represented in his limited motion by a death-penalty-qualified attorney because of the seriousness of the case. He set a status conference for August 8 to set a date for Chong's motion.
Burr of Houston is expected to meet with Chong as early as next week. Honolulu attorney Birney Bervar has agreed to be co-counsel.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson had argued against appointment of another death-penalty-qualified attorney for Chong, saying it would cost unnecessary time and expense. He had argued last week that Chong's motion, just days before he was to be sentenced, was simply a ploy to allow him to stay in Hawaii longer in hopes the death penalty will be dismissed.
Chong was to have been sentenced to a life term without parole yesterday for pleading guilty to Noa's murder.
But U.S. District Judge Alan Kay put off the sentencing, saying it was of "grave importance" that Chong be represented in his motion.
Three attorneys who represented Chong for the past year and a half, including Marcia Morrissey, a death-penalty-qualified attorney from Santa Monica, Calif., said they could not represent him because they felt his plea was "in his best interest" and he agreed to the plea knowingly.
~ ~ ~
June 30, 2001
to life in
He originally faced death for murdering a father of 6
over a $100 drug debt in 1997
By Debra Barayuga, Star-Bulletin
Life for a life.
That is the prison sentence Richard Lee Tuck Chong was given yesterday for using a firearm to shoot another man to death almost four years ago over a $100 drug-related debt.
It was agreed to by government prosecutors and his defense attorneys in a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty.
U.S. District Judge Alan Kay acknowledged yesterday that Chong had led a difficult life -- most of it behind bars. But he said Chong must be punished for taking the life of William Noa Jr. by paying with his own life.
Federal authorities tried Chong because the murder involved a drug-trafficking case and local law enforcement officials wanted a stiffer sentence for him. Former U.S. Attorney Steve Alm had sought the death penalty because the murder was committed with another crime, Chong's long criminal record and the manner of the murder.
Chong, 50, who suffers from various ailments, will be sent to a maximum-security facility on the mainland where he will spend the rest of his life.
The sentencing ends a 4-year-old case that could have been the first death penalty trial in Hawaii since 1957.
Chong avoided the death penalty by agreeing to plead guilty to premeditated murder -- using a firearm in a drug-related slaying -- less than a week before he was to stand trial in January 2000.
But just days before his July 2000 sentencing, he asked to withdraw his plea so he could go to trial. He maintained he did not shoot Noa with premeditation. He claimed the medication he had been taking had affected his ability to think clearly.
Kay denied the request, finding that Chong clearly understood what he had pleaded to and that he did so intelligently and voluntarily.
Chong admits he shot Noa, 33, but did so because he feared for his safety.
In court yesterday, Chong apologized to Noa's family.
"I hope you guys no have to carry hate against me -- I never do it purposefully," he said.
He concluded by saying, "I hope you guys be all right."
But Raynette Oliva, the mother of Noa's six children, said their lives have not been the same since.
The children, ranging from 3 to 10 years old, sat in a front row of the courtroom and sobbed as Oliva tried to explain the pain and anger they have felt since their father was killed.
Oliva said they still ask, "When is he coming home?" "Why did this man do this to Daddy?"
Even the 3-year-old daughter, who was born a month after Noa was killed, asks when he will return, Oliva said....
Defense attorney Marcia Morrissey tried to show the judge a different side of Chong.
He was born to an abusive father who had a history of psychiatric disorder and a mother who only saw her children on weekends because she worked in Honolulu.
By the time he was 8, Chong had been made a ward of juvenile court and sent to an Army facility for "throwaway kids" where he was given strong antipsychotic drugs, assaulted by his fellow inmates and undernourished, Morrissey said.
Children who survived the facility and are now grown have told horror stories about what it was like there.
"Growing up in a virtual gulag, the fact that he survived at all is a small miracle," said deputy public defender Michael Weight.
Chong was later sent to the Koolau boy's home until age 17. Before he turned 18, he was committed to the adult state prison, becoming the youngest inmate ever admitted.
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September 28, 2001
By Rosemarie Bernardo, Star-Bulletin
Richard Lee Tuck Chong was found dead Tuesday in his cellblock at the federal penitentiary in Lompoc, Calif.
Assistant federal public defender Michael Weight, who represented Chong in a federal murder case, said he was notified by the penitentiary's chaplain of Chong's death.
It is believed Chong, 50, took his life Tuesday night, Weight said.
"This was a calculated decision on his part," he said.
Weight declined to provide further details of Chong's death.
Chong, known as "China," was the first person to face the death penalty in Hawaii since the 1950s, but at the end of June, Chong was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of William Noa Jr. over a $100 drug debt.
Chong had a history of violence that included sexually assaulting and robbing a 48-year-old woman, holding an ice pick to an inmate's throat while sodomizing him and robbing two woman at a Manoa home.
Chong was transferred from the Oahu Community Correctional Center to the San Bernardino Penitentiary in August before he was sent to the penitentiary at Lompoc.
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October 8, 1999
New status for
leaves an opening
By Debra Barayuga, Star-Bulletin
After 13 years as an active federal judge, U.S. District Judge Alan C. Kay will assume senior status Jan. 2.
He is eligible at the end of the year under the "Rule of 80," which allows active judges who qualify to seek senior status and continue to render judicial service or retire.
District judges are eligible for senior status once they reach the age of 65 and when their total years of service and age equal 80. Kay is 67 years old.
A vast majority choose to seek senior status rather than retire. Those who take senior status can accept a reduced caseload but still render substantial service to the court. Kay is not expected to cut back on his work any time soon.
"My caseload now is as heavy as it's ever been and I look forward to continuing presiding over cases," Kay said.
He will preside over the upcoming death penalty trial of Richard L.T. Chong, and recently was assigned two civil suits seeking to halt the closure of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Kay's move to senior judge creates a vacancy on the four-member District Court. President Clinton will appoint a judge with the advice and approval of the U.S. Senate.
While Hawaii qualifies for a fifth judgeship, approved by the 9th Circuit and recommended by the National Judicial Conference, Congress still needs to approve it.
"At this point, Congress does not seem amenable to approving new judgeship positions," Kay said.
Kay was appointed by President Reagan in 1986. He joins two other senior judges in Hawaii -- Martin Pence and Samuel P. King.
Kay served as chief judge from 1991 to 1998. He served as chair of the 9th Circuit Chief District Judges in 1997 and 1998. He also was a member of the Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit, the 9th Circuit Pacific Islands Committee and the 9th Circuit Rules Review Committee.
Kay also is a counselor for the Aloha Inn, American Inn of Court at the University of Hawaii Law School.
Kay was born and raised in Hawaii. He received a doctorate of law from the University of California, Boalt Hall.
He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1953 and was honorably discharged two years later after service in the Far East. He practiced law with the law firm of Case, Kay & Lynch.
Before joining the bench, he was on the board of directors of Bank of Hawaii and Hawaii Bancorp, and the Economic Development Corporation of Honolulu.
He also has served on the board of the Legal Aid Society and the Prison Good News Mission.
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June 25, 1999
Wong asks feds
to halt grand jury
Wong, his wife and brother-
in-law had been subpoenaed by
the attorney general's office
to testify again
By Rick Daysog, Star-Bulletin
Lawyers for Bishop Estate trustee Richard "Dickie" Wong and his wife Mari will go to federal court in an attempt to halt grand jury proceedings scheduled for Tuesday.
The attorney general's office on Wednesday subpoenaed the Wongs and Mari's brother, local developer Jeffrey Stone, to testify before an Oahu grand jury about an alleged kickback scheme involving Bishop Estate land.
The attorney general's office also subpoenaed estate attorney Nathan Aipa and trust land manager Paul Cathcart.
Jerry Fonseca, Mari Wong's attorney, said he and Eric Seitz, trustee Wong's attorney, plan to file a suit in federal court either today or Monday challenging the grand jury investigation.
The suit will allege that the attorney general's office is misusing its powers in pursuing a criminal investigation which has no merit, and will question the constitutionality of some of the subpoenas that had been issued, Fonseca said.
He noted that Circuit Judge Michael Town earlier this month threw out indictments against the Wongs and Stone, saying the grand jury's decision was tainted by the testimony of Stone's former attorney, Richard Frunzi, who had been convicted on unrelated federal money laundering charges.
Tuesday's session will be before a different grand jury.
"I think we have enough factual proof that they are misusing their powers in this case," Fonseca said.
The attorney general's office subpoenaed the Wongs and the other witnesses to appear a grand jury to testify about a Hawaii Kai land deal in which Stone and his mainland partners, National Housing Corp., acquired the estate's fee interest to the 219-unit Kalele Kai condominium project.
The attorney general's office has alleged the estate gave Stone and his mainland partners preferential treatment when they acquired the fee interest in 1995 for $21.9 million.
In return, Stone acquired the Wongs' Makiki condominium several months later for $115,000 more than it was worth, the state has said.
Wong, who was temporarily removed as a trustee by Probate Judge Kevin Chang last month, has denied wrongdoing, saying he recused himself from negotiations involving Kalele Kai. Stone has denied that he received favorable treatment from the estate, saying the deal benefited the estate tremendously.
Stone's attorney, John Edmunds, has threatened to file a law suit against the attorney general's office for wrongful prosecution. Edmunds could not be reached for comment.
Wong previously filed a federal court challenge to the grand jury's investigation, but that suit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Alan Kay in January.
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July 23, 1999
Peters says he intends to
return as ‘rightful trustee’
of Bishop Estate
By Rick Daysog, Star-Bulletin
Despite threats by the Internal Revenue Service that it would seek to revoke the Bishop Estate's tax-exempt status, trustee Henry Peters is refusing calls to permanently step down.
In a four-page letter to the estate's interim board yesterday, Peters said he plans to seek reinstatement and charged that his temporary removal from the Bishop Estate board was the result of a conspiracy by the Cayetano administration.
"Rather than accept your request to voluntarily step down, I wish to advise you of my intention to return as the rightful trustee of the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate," Peters said. "After all, I am innocent and the charges against me are created with smoke and mirrors and not facts."
Probate Judge Kevin Chang on May 7 temporarily removed Peters and trustees Gerard Jervis, Lokelani Lindsey and Richard "Dickie" Wong and accepted the voluntary resignation of Oswald Stender. Chang's decision -- which also named five, interim replacement trustees -- was in response to a threat by the IRS that it would revoke the estate's tax-exempt status if the former board was not removed permanently.
Critics say Peter's refusal to voluntarily resign shows that he is placing his personal interests above those of the trust.
"The bottom line is that Mr. Peters doesn't understand the nature of his fiduciary duty and why it is that the interests of the beneficiaries have to come before his own personal desire," said Randall Roth, University of Hawaii law professor and one of five co-authors of the 1997 "Broken Trust" article that alleged trustees mismanaged the estate.
"Even if this were somehow unfair to him, that's not the point. The best interest of the beneficiaries has to be served."
Last Friday, the interim trustees -- retired Adm. Robert Kihune, attorney Ronald Libkuman, former Iolani School headmaster David Coon, retired Honolulu Police Chief Francis Keala and Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. Treasurer Constance Lau -- sent letters to the former trustees, urging them to step down permanently in the interest of the trust.
Peters' refusal to step down means that the new board will likely sue for his permanent removal. Chang's order gave the new board until Aug. 4 to petition for the permanent ouster of the former trustees.
The attorney general's office is also pursuing a suit to permanently remove Peters, Jervis and Wong, alleging a pattern of self-dealing and mismanagement.
Peters -- who also is the target of a grand jury investigation into kickback allegations -- charged that the IRS's threat to revoke the estate's tax-exempt status is based on misrepresentations by the attorney general's office.
Peters said he recently was contacted by the IRS's western region office and he now expects the IRS to reverse its position over the coming weeks as a result. He declined to give details of his discussions with the IRS.
Peters also took issue with Chang's order, saying it removed the people most qualified to negotiate with the IRS.
He said that he and fellow board members were able to preserve the estate's tax-exempt status earlier this year after IRS questioned Kamehameha Schools admission policy, which gives preference to children of native Hawaiian ancestry.
A Bishop Estate spokesman did not return calls and a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office declined comment.
In a separate matter, U.S. District Judge Alan Kay has scheduled a Tuesday hearing on Peters' motion for a temporary restraining order against the attorney general's office. Peters, in a suit filed last Tuesday, is asking Kay to block a grand jury investigation into an alleged kickback scheme involving Bishop Estate land.
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August 24, 1999
Holt plea bargain:
Guilty of fraud,
5 counts dropped
He faces prison time in the
case involving his personal use
of campaign fund money
By Susan Kreifels, Star-Bulletin
Former state Sen. Milton Holt pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud today in a plea agreement with the federal government that will drop five other counts involving the use of campaign contributions for personal use.
Holt, also the former special projects officer for the Bishop Estate, faces up to five years in prison with no parole and a $250,000 fine, as well as $10,000-$20,000 in restitution.
U.S. District Judge Alan Kay is scheduled to sentence Holt on Dec. 6.
Holt, 46, had pleaded not guilty to six counts of mail fraud for allegedly spending more than $8,000 in campaign money for personal use between 1993 and 1997.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Seabright said the government's evidence showed Holt took a presigned blank check from the Friends of Milton Holt campaign committee and wrote a check for $2,051 to Ryan's Graphics Inc., a Honolulu printing company, on May 28, 1997.
The president, Holt's friend, sent Holt $2,000, which went into Holt's bank account. The office manager wrote a backdated invoice saying the money was spent on thank-you cards, Seabright said.
Holt had been free on condition that he obtain treatment for drug abuse and stop using illegal drugs, but he was ordered held without bail last month after he tested positive for crystal methamphetamine.
Holt had once been regarded by his peers as a brilliant lawmaker and power broker.
A Kamehameha Schools graduate, Holt attended Harvard in the early 1970s and became the starting quarterback on the football team. He was first elected to the Legislature as a state representative in 1978 at the age of 26.
Holt, who lost his Senate seat to former state Rep. Suzanne Chun Oakland in 1996, worked as a special projects officer for Bishop Estate until he was removed from that position last month.
Previously, he served as assistant athletic director of the trust-run Kamehameha Schools.
In 1992, Holt spent two days in jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor spouse-abuse charge.
The next year, he was arrested in New Orleans for public drunkenness. The New Orleans arrest later was dismissed.
Holt also has acknowledged charging more than $23,000 on Bishop Estate credit cards at local restaurants and strip clubs, such as Misty II and Saigon Passion III. In several instances he entertained lawmakers at hostess clubs. He has said that he repaid the estate for the credit card charges.
~ ~ ~
Excerpt from Defendant’s Exhibit AN:
Various - BH re: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA became effective 01/26/92. The issue of compliance with the ADA impacted on discussions regarding the high costs of compliance. On 11/14/91, for example, Colleen Wong sent Allen Young a letter re Americans with Disabilities Act - Public Accommodation. Wong stated in that re your inquiry whether KSBE is exempt from Title III (Public Accommodations) requirements because of Judge Alan Kay's ruling that Kamehameha Schools is a religious institution. We answer in the affirmative. There is an exemption for `religious organizations or entities controlled by religious organizations, including places of worship.' We believe, based on the Federal decision concerning Kamehameha Schools as a religious educational institution, that it should fall into this exemption. This advice was given to KSBE’s engineering dept despite an earlier opinion given to Stan Hioki by Chas. Ching of the law firm of Perkin & Shimizu. In his letter of 12/11/90, Ching stated that the ADA has a sweeping application and extends to both the KS campus as well as commercial properties owned by KS/BE. In describing the scope of coverage of ADA Title III, a Senate report specifically stated that "private schools, including elementary and secondary schools, are covered by this title." On 01/07/92, Rosemary Fazio of the law firm of Ashford & Wriston sent a letter to Aipa providing information about the Act, and stated that one of the reasons they had prepared this letter was their concern about the impact of the rather strong remedies and penalties provided for in the Act. On March 3, 1992, Allen Young arranged a meeting re ADA for Kamehameha Schools, with guest speakers, Colleen Wong, Cindy Winegar of Watanabe, Ing & Kawashima, and Peter Fritz, Esq. Attendees included Sam Hata, Ed Tabangay, Jim Holt, Mike Lum, Bob Stender, Lena Young, Charlee Kowalski, Clifford Kobashigawa and myself. These attorneys again stated their opinions that KSBE, as a religious institution, was exempted from the act. On 10/06/92, I sent a memorandum to Aipa, Colleen Wong, Gil Tam, Sandie Wicklein, Tony Sereno, Richard Wong (RHSC), and Wally Tirrell (KIC) enclosing two articles from the CPCU Journal: 1) Risk Management Implications of the ADA; 2) The ADA and Workers Compensation. I advised that KSBE's Educators Legal Liability insurance policy provided certain coverages for discrimination; however, the willful violation of a statute or government regulation or ordinance committed by or with the knowledge or consent of an Individual Insured is excluded. Also, I advised that payment of any governmental fines or penalties was not covered. On 07/15/93, Ed Tabangay sent a memo to Tony Sereno, Nathan Aipa, Mike Chun and Gil Tam regarding an "Organizational Wide KS/BE ADA Action Plan". In the memo he stated that there had been several meetings within the past weeks regarding the ADA and that an ADA Action Plan was essential. Tabangay noted that KSBE's exposure to civil lawsuits for noncompliance was a major concern. He recommended that KSBE establish compliance goals, which would serve as evidence of a good faith effort to comply. This would help safeguard KSBE from legal and risk management concerns. On 02/14/95, an ADA Action Plan was presented to all KS supervisors by Bob Ramsey and Bruce Clark for information and action. Engineering was given responsibility for implementing the plan. However, as late as 10/02/96, Sam Hata stated that he was concerned about the lack of compliance with the ADA. I remarked that I thought a master plan had been submitted a long ago and that we had taken action. Sam replied that, yes, the plan was drafted, but Trustees never approved the funds for implementation.
Judge Alan Kay is expected to testify regarding his business, professional, personal and political relationships with Cindy Sheehan, John Goemans, Henry Peters, Jeff Stone, Richard Wong, Kevin Showe, Robert Kihune, Constance Lau, Nathan Aipa, Colleen Wong, Margery Bronster, Earl Anzai, Lyn Anzai, Dee Jay Mailer, Ben Cayetano, Linda Lingle, Judge Barry Kurren, Faye Kurren, The Nature Conservancy, Judge David Ezra, Mark Bennett, Carl Icahn, Jack Abramoff, Henry Kravis, Conrad Black, Henry Kissinger, Norm Brownstein, Judge Michael Seabright, Colbert Matsumoto, Jeff Watanabe, Judge Michael Town, Judge Colleen Hirai, Colleen Hanabusa, Steve Case, Suzanne Case, Sukamto Sia, Aloha Airlines, Steven Alm, Sherry Broder, Prudential, Gale Norton, Karl Rove, Dennis Hastert, David C. Farmer, Judge Susan Oki Mollway, and others to be named upon discovery.
Documents, Letters, News Articles and Related Links
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March 13, 2007: Judge David Ezra signs Order to shut down website
July 31, 2009: Latest update on www.kycbs.net
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