Office of The United States Trustee vs. Harmon
(Formerly Woo vs. Harmon)
CV05-00030 DAE KSC
U.S. District Court For the District of Hawaii
Judges: David A. Ezra; Kevin S. Chang
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HEARING ON MOTION FOR JUDGMENT
DATE: July 24, 2006, 09:45 AM
JUDGE: Hon. David Ezra
Address to be determined.
Former Honolulu City Councilman; president of the Kamehameha Schools Association of Parents and Teachers; unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of the City & County of Honolulu in 1996, running against Mayor Jeremy Harris; professional football player with the Kansas City Chiefs, teammate of James B. Nicholson.
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January 10, 2003
Kamehameha Schools agrees
to pay a $10,000 fine
By Rick Daysog, Star-Bulletin
The Kamehameha Schools has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine to settle the state Campaign Spending Commission's 2 1/2-year-old investigation into the estate's political activities.
Without admitting or denying wrongdoing, the $6 billion charitable trust agreed to settle with the commission, ending the only remaining investigation of the Kamehameha Schools' former trustees Henry Peters, Richard "Dickie" Wong, Lokelani Lindsey, Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis. The fine, which will be paid to the Hawaii Election Campaign Trust Fund, requires the approval of the commission's five-member board, which will meet on Thursday.
Kamehameha Schools' Chief Executive Hamilton McCubbin said the agreement avoids a costly, protracted legal battle and will allow the trust to focus resources on its educational mission.
"It resolves one of the last remaining issues relating to the former management of the trust," McCubbin said.
Bob Watada, the commission's executive director, said he did not seek a larger fine against Kamehameha Schools since the former trustees who took part in the political activities have resigned and the estate's current managers and board of trustees have implemented significant reforms.
Watada also noted that former staffers such as the late Namlyn Snow, who headed the government relations division, have either died or have left the trust, while recipients of the estate's political support such as former state Sens. Milton Holt and Marshall Ige have been convicted of criminal charges.
"I think it's clear the Kamehameha Schools has taken steps to make sure that they don't get involved in political campaigns," Watada said.
The commission began its investigation in April 2000, looking into more than $200,000 in polling that the trust conducted on behalf of several prominent state lawmakers during the 1990s.
The commission also was looking into tens of thousands of dollars in political fund-raising tickets that the trust funneled to its employees and outside contractors.
Watada said evidence included in more than 40,000 pages of internal trust documents and witness interviews indicated that the trust operated an in-house network that distributed fund-raiser tickets to trustees and their relatives, staffers and to the estate's engineering, architecture and law firms.
Recipients included Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris, former Mayor Frank Fasi, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and former Honolulu City Councilman Arnold Morgado.
Under federal tax law, charities like the Kamehameha Schools can lose their tax-exempt status for making political contributions.
In the early 1990s the trust also hired a pollster, QMark Research & Polling, to conduct political research in the districts of their biggest legislative supporters, including former state House Speaker Joe Souki and former state Sens. Holt, Ige, Robert Herkes, Donna Ikeda and Whitney Anderson.
The estate's former trustees had argued that the polls were conducted to gauge public sentiment on controversial issues such as land use and leasehold reform in those districts.
But Watada noted that the polls also asked specific questions about candidates the trustees supported.
The polls were delivered to the legislators in unmarked envelopes in an apparent attempt to conceal their source, he added.
Neither the trust nor the candidates declared the polls as campaign contributions as required by law. A poll is considered a campaign contribution if its findings are shared with a limited number of candidates and if its value exceeds $1,000.
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This witness is expected to testify regarding his business, professional, personal and political relationships with Trustee James B. Nicholson, Jack Borja, Ron Rewald, Michigan businessman James B. “Jim” Nicholson, Frank Gifford, Mary Lou Woo, Steven Guttman, Charles Ching, Gayle Lau, Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, Nathan Aipa, Colleen Wong, Louanne Kam, Earl Anzai, Lyn Anzai, Henry Peters, Richard Wong, Jeff Stone, William S. Richardson, Gilbert Tam, Steve Goodenow, Alika Thompson, Namlyn Snow, Robert Kihune, Dee Jay Mailer, Edwina Clarke, Faye Kurren, The Nature Conservancy, Guido Giacometti, Susan Tius, Peter Savio, Bob Rosehill, Guy Lam, Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulson, Marsh & McLennan, Aon Risk Managers, Federal Insurance Co. (Chubb Group), John Waihee, Ron Rewald, Judith Neustader Fuqua, Frank Fasi, Lamar Hunt, Barron Hilton, and other entities to be named upon discovery.
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