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 PATRICK YIM
QUEEN LILI`UOKALANI TRUST
Alakea Corporate Tower
1100 Alakea Street, Suite 1100
Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813
Facsimile: (808) 203-6151
Retired judge selected by Nathan Aipa and appointed as a “fact-finder” by the courts to conduct an inquiry into the controversy surrounding Kamehameha Schools’ former trustees; trustee of the Queen Liliuokalani Trust; and one of the American Arbitration Association’s candidates for arbitrator in the subject case.
~ ~ ~
The Queen Lili`uokalani Trust
The Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust welcomed Patrick Koon Sinn Lono Yim to its ‘ohana as trustee on August 9, 2002. He brings with him an impressive history of judiciary experience and is well known for being a champion in the community for Hawaii’s youth.
Judge Yim received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii in 1964 and then went on to graduate from Boston University School of Law in 1967. Upon completion of law school he was employed as a field attorney in San Francisco. In 1968, Judge Yim returned to Hawaii where he took a position as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu. After two and a half years Judge Yim began working as a Referee in the Family Court. In 1973, he took a position as a District Family Court Judge in the First Circuit. For over ten years Judge Yim served diligently in the Family Court. On July 1, 1983, Judge Yim was appointed Acting Judge in the Seventh Division. Less than a year later on March 16, 1984, he was appointed as a judge in the Seventh Division, First Circuit. Judge Yim served in this capacity until December 30, 1994.
Judge Yim retired from the Judiciary in December 1994. He then worked in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), arbitrating or mediating cases in various areas of law. The more than 400 cases he has worked on have dealt with many subjects involving personal injury, professional malpractice, construction, real estate, domestic relations and labor law. Judge Yim also serves pro bono on the Appellate ADR Program with the Judiciary.
During the years that Judge Yim served in the Seventh Division, First Circuit he was chairman of the Judicial Arbitration Commission, chairman of the Permanent Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure, co-chair of the Committee on Standard Civil Jury Instructions, a member of the Committee on Family Court Rules, a member of the Committee on Uniform Probate Rules and a member of the Committee on Civil Operations. He also served as co-chair of the Conference on the Future of the Judiciary, president of the Hawaii State Trial Judge Association, chairman of the Judicial Education Committee and secretary of the Hawaii State Judicial Conference.
Throughout his career Judge Yim has fulfilled many judicial assignments including Trial Judge of the Criminal Division, Administrative Judge of the Civil Division, Trial Judge of the Domestic Violence Backlog Reduction Program, Administrative Judge of the Court Annexed Arbitration Program, and Probate and Guardianship Judge.
Outside of the court room Judge Yim has served the community in a variety of ways, which include serving as president of the Malama Na Keiki Foundation, chairman of the Advisory Board of the Hawaii Family Support Center – Healthy Start, chairman of the Traditional Peacemaking Committee of the Native Hawaiian Bar Association, member of the Civil Advisory Group - U.S. Army Pacific, the Pualeilani Choral Group, Pa Kui a Lua, the 200 Club, Hawaiian Lodge F.&A.M., Honolulu Elks Lodge 616 and past president of the Palama Settlement Board of Trustees.
Judge Yim has been recognized and awarded for his service by multiple local and national organizations. He received the O`o Award in 1998 from the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, the ‘Firestone’s 100 Who Serve” Award in 2001, the Outstanding Advocate for Children and Youth which was awarded in 2001 by Governor and Mrs. Cayetano and Hawaii Kids’ watch.
Judge Yim is married to Santa Marie and they have three children: Laura, Eli and Matthew.
* * * * *
“GOOGLING FOR JUDGE PATRICK YIM”
(An Exhibit in CV05-00030 - U.S. Dept of Justice vs Harmon)
* * * * *
“ZOOMING IN ON JUDGE PATRICK YIM”
(An Exhibit in CV05-00030 - U.S. Dept of Justice vs Harmon)
* * * * *
NEW DISCOVERY (12-22-08): Trustee James B. Nicholson has undisclosed business and professional relationships with William S. Richardson, a former Kamehameha Schools Trustee and officer for P&C Insurance Company and a defendant in my RICO lawsuit; and my witnesses Judge Patrick Yim, Tony Rutledge, Bob Awana, Ron Rewald, June Jones, Larry Mehau, and David Farmer, among others (see http://www.kycbs.net/Doc-EQ2048-AG-Witnesses-5-19-0.pdf) .
September 11, 2007
Former star athlete head
of Hawaii labor board
By Curtis Lum, Advertiser Staff Writer
JAMES B. NICHOLSON
Organization: Hawai'i Labor Relations Board
High School: Saint Louis, 1968
College: Michigan State; William S. Richardson School of Law
Breakthrough job: Hawai'i Employers Council
Little-known fact: Not a natural blond. Has held the state basketball single-game scoring record (60 points) and scoring average (26.8) since 1966
Mentors: Al Fraga, Larry Cundiff, Judge Patrick Yim
Major challenge: Promoting cooperation between labor and management pursuant to the spirit and intent of HRS Chapter 89 in a forum that has been traditionally adversarial.
Q. How did you wind up as chairman of the Hawai'i Labor Relations Board?
A. My background had been as a union rep with the Kansas City Chiefs years ago when I was playing ball. I went to law school and took classes in labor, got out of law school and worked with the Hawai'i Employers Council as a management negotiator with Al Fraga. I moved from there to become a production manager at Weyerhaeuser Paper Co., and from there I worked for the joint labor management trust fund with the Carpenter's Union. I went on to private practice from there and represented the Teamsters in arbitration and became an arbitrator. This job requires all of that in order to fully understand the relationships between the parties and the collective bargaining process, the grievance process, what unfair labor practice is and what it isn't, and basically trying to promote labor-management cooperation.
Q. Your background seems to be more on the union side. Do people look at that and feel that you may be biased?
A. It seems like it's more union, and management's perception in a lot of cases is once you work for the union you're always union. The majority of us are born in blue-collar families. My dad was an adult corrections officer, my mom was a housekeeper in a hotel. I think all our roots are in labor. One of the reasons I was selected was I have been an arbitrator for over 10 years and you're only selected by mutual agreement between the parties. During this process with the HLRB you have three appointees. One represents labor, one represents management and the chair represents members of the public. That's the position I'm at. I feel that with my background that I've been groomed for this position.
Q. What's your approach to this job?
A. The board's mission is to promote harmonious and cooperative relationships between the employers, employees and employee organizations. The whole system is set up traditionally to be adversarial. We're working on changing the administrative rules for our organization to permit us to have more flexibility and give them opportunities to settle disputes on their own, create a vehicle so that if they so chose that they could go to mediation through the board at no expense to them using the federal mediators. We're able to work with the parties to do some of this right now. But it's not the way it's been done. I want to try and slow it down to give the parties some time to catch their breath, sit down and talk about it before the attorneys get into a battle. We've been successful in a couple of cases so far.
Q. Was it an adjustment to go from the private sector to the public sector?
A. It's sort of yes and no. It's a huge employer, but because we're quasi judicial, even though we fall under the Department of Labor, we're only under it for administrative and budgetary purposes. We don't answer to anyone so it's sort of like running your own business again. In that way it's not different, but at the same time you're a public employee and you have to abide by whatever rules that you're required to abide by. For myself, you're devoted full time to this position, which means you can't do any other work besides what you're doing here. I wanted this opportunity for quite some time and when it came up, this is what I wanted to do. It's another challenge and something to put some fire back into me again.
Q. Why did you want to pursue the job?
A. I've been in labor for a long time and I've seen what's happened. As an arbitrator, I've watched the parties and there are so many times that I felt that if only people would just sit down and have a meaningful discussion and try to work things out and try to find ways of resolving issues without having arbitrators decide things for them, I think the system would be better served. One of the things that we're responsible for here, and one of the things that I'm working on first, is to find qualified individuals to serve as arbitrators. So many of the arbitrators who are on the list now have no experience in collective bargaining negotiations, have never worked for unions, have no human resource background, and those are the kind of people that you need. You don't have to be an attorney to be an arbitrator. That's where I gained a lot of experience at the Hawai'i Employers Council where I did 30 to 40 negotiations on my own and sat in on a bunch more.
Q. Since you started, has there been anything that surprised you?
A. One of the things that I was surprised with was that, in reviewing annual reports and information concerning board activities in preparation for my interviews, in order to try and get this job, I found that over 40 percent of the board's decisions were overturned. That's bad. That's just not paying attention. You have to look at the courts. You can't just make decisions. You can't make decisions based on emotions. The perception of the public was that the board wasn't being fair. Something needed to be fixed. We have a really good board. Emory Springer is a former police officer on the Big Island. He was the Big Island SHOPO representative. He's just a breath of fresh air and he's all gung-ho to try to resolve disputes, bring the parties together and try to work things out. And I'm the same way. And then there's Sarah Hirakami who is just brilliant. We come up with ideas and she looks up the law and tells us whether we can do it or not or finds cases in support of our positions. We have a real nice balance.
Q. Are some cases more difficult than others to deal with?
A. The cases that I have problems with are cases that have been sitting around here without decisions being issued for over 10 years. Those are difficult. None of the board members was there at the time of the hearing and motions and whatever else happened. Now, if we were to rule in favor of the employers, in a lot of the cases there's a substantial amount of back pay and other issues that are involved that make it a real big mess. You want to be fair. What we're supposed to do is return it to the status quo, but how do you do that 10 years later?
Q. Do you see yourself fulfilling your six-year term?
A. Definitely. I like this place. The opportunity for me to make an impact on the state so far as labor relations is tremendous.
Q. When you leave the board, what do you hope to have accomplished?
A. I'd like to see management and labor walking down King Street holding hands, but that's not going to happen. But to reduce the number of cases that have to go to arbitration; to encourage the parties to include in their collective bargaining agreements provisions for mediation; to reduce the number of unfair labor practices that are filed with the board. At the same time, that number may increase because of the effectiveness of the board as a place to go to resolve problems. So it sort of cuts both ways. You may have more unfair labor practices because whenever there is a problem they may want to say, "Let's go over there and take care of it. That way at least we'll get to talk." That's what I'm hoping.
And (another goal) is to educate people about relationships and trust and get the state and counties to rely upon the people that they hire to advise them on labor relation issues and union issues. Often times that doesn't happen. And encourage them to foster relationships with one another that are meaningful.
The Honolulu Advertiser
~ ~ ~
May 15, 1997: More than 500 Kamehameha Schools parents, students, alumni and supporters march on Bishop Estate headquarters to protest what they said was trustees' micromanagement of the Kapalama Heights campus.
Aug. 9, 1997: The "Broken Trust" article in the Star-Bulletin alleges mismanagement of Bishop Estate assets and conflicts of interests by trustees and criticizes selection of trustees by state Supreme Court justices.
Aug. 12, 1997: Gov. Ben Cayetano orders Attorney General Margery Bronster to investigate.
Dec. 12, 1997: Fact-finder Patrick Yim alleges that trustee Lokelani Lindsey managed Kamehameha Schools by "intimidation."
Dec. 20, 1997: Supreme Court justices remove themselves from selecting Bishop Estate trustees.
Dec. 29, 1997: Bishop Estate trustees Gerard Jervis and Oswald Stender seek Lindsey's removal.
Sept. 9, 1998: Attorney General Margery Bronster calls for temporary removal of four trustees, saying they jeopardized the tax-exempt status of the trust.
Sept. 10, 1998: Bronster calls for removal of trustees Richard Wong, Henry Peters and Lindsey, charging they took part in a pattern of self-dealing and mismanagement.
Nov. 11, 1998: The trial to remove trustee Lokelani Lindsey begins.
Nov. 25, 1998: An Oahu grand jury indicts Peters on a charge of theft.
March 11, 1999: Trustee Gerard Jervis is rushed to a hospital after taking an overdose of sleeping pills a week after a trust employee died in an apparent suicide. The day before her death, Jervis and the female worker were caught in a compromising position in a men's restroom by security workers at a Waikiki hotel.
April 12, 1999: Bishop Estate Chairman Wong is indicted on charges of first-degree theft, perjury and conspiracy.
April 27, 1999: IRS files a report saying it may revoke the tax-exempt status of the estate if the five trustees don't step down.
May 6, 1999: Circuit Judge Bambi Weil permanently removes Lindsey as trustee.
May 7, 1999: Probate Court Judge Kevin Chang temporarily removes four trustees and accepts Stender's resignation on an interim basis.
Bishop Estate Archive
~ ~ ~
JUDGE KEVIN CHANG’S RULING ON SAME SEX MARRIAGES
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December 19, 1997
Abolish system of
‘lead trustees’ now,
Judge Patrick Yim's
Fact Finder's report now online.
State Attorney General Margery Bronster says she could seek a court order to abolish Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate's much-maligned "lead trustee" management system.
Bronster yesterday said she plans to study an agreement finalized yesterday by Circuit Judge Colleen Hirai which calls for a review of the lead trustee system only after a management and financial audit of the estate's operations is completed.
The pact -- reached between the estate, the trust's court-appointed master Colbert Matsumoto and the attorney general's office -- represents a step back from a previous agreement to eliminate the system outright, Bronster said.
She agreed with nearly all of the remaining recommendations, which seek to streamline the estate's accounting process and financial reporting requirements.
"The time is now to abolish the practice of the lead trustee," she said. "We think the law is clear."
Bronster and Matsumoto have argued that the system -- which gives individual trustees authority over specific administrative areas -- may violate the will of the estate's founder, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, and may breach the trustees' fiduciary responsibilities since it delegates too much responsibility to one trustee.
William McCorriston, one of the estate's attorneys, disagreed, saying the informal lead trustee system is not for decision-making purposes but largely exists for reporting or oversight purposes.
All policy decisions are made by the whole board and not by individual trustees, he said. McCorriston added that many trusts use a similar system to manage their affairs.
"I don't know if we will ever be able to satisfy the attorney general," McCorriston said. "She doesn't have a good understanding of how the system works."
Under the system, the estate's asset management is handled by trustee Henry Peters and its government affairs programs are headed by Chairman Richard Wong. Trustee Lokelani Lindsey headed estate's educational programs, while Gerard Jervis ran the estate's legal affairs. Oswald Stender was in charge of the trust's Kukui Inc. subsidiary, which represents the estate's interest in a mainland methane gas drilling operation.
For many critics, Lindsey's role as lead trustee for education played a big role in the ongoing controversy. Student and alumni groups say she usurped the duties of popular Kamehameha Schools President Michael Chun and hurt school morale. Court-appointed fact-finder Patrick Yim went further, saying Lindsey managed by intimidation and played favorites.
Lindsey was removed as lead trustee more than a week ago in anticipation of Yim's report. Jervis also has relinquished his duties as lead trustee for legal affairs, according to McCorriston.
Matsumoto initially recommended abolishing the lead trustee system but said he was willing to grant the estate additional time to make the transition.
He said the estate has agreed to have its finances audited by a national accounting firm and that the audit will likely take six months to complete.
Matsumoto said he's confident that the audit of the estate will find that the lead trustee system should be eliminated and that trustees eventually will agree.
Matsumoto also had recommended that the court not approve the estate's accounting for the 1993-1994 fiscal year until the Internal Revenue Service completed its audit of the estate.
But Matsumoto said he now feels that may not be practical since it may be some time before the IRS completes its audit.
Judge Patrick Yim's
Fact Finder's report now online.
Bishop Estate Archive
~ ~ ~
October 3, 1997
Bishop legal team
McCorriston says rumors
that the estate has hired
several law firms are false
By Mike Yuen, Star-Bulletin
Bishop Estate attorney William McCorriston says Gov. Ben Cayetano was wrong in asserting that the five trustees for the $10 billion charitable trust are improperly using trust funds for legal representation during a state investigation.
Cayetano was also incorrect when he repeated a rumor that the estate was bracing for the inquiry by bolstering its "legal armament" by hiring five to seven law firms, including several from the mainland, McCorriston said yesterday.
There are only two outside lawyers - himself and Malcolm Moore, 60, who is regarded as one of the nation's leading trust law experts, McCorriston said.
The Princeton-and Harvard-educated Moore, a former president of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, is with the Seattle law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, whose 10 branch offices include Honolulu, San Francisco, Washington and Shanghai.
Responding to Cayetano
McCorriston's rebuttal came less than two hours after Cayetano, in response to reporters' questions, commented on the state's investigation into the estate.
"Unfortunately, the governor was not aware of all the facts before he made a judgment. The fact of the matter is that the trustees, on my advice, have retained individual counsel on matters pertaining to the investigation that could lead to personal liability," said McCorriston, who began representing the estate last month.
The trustees will be paying for their personal counsel - not the estate, said McCorriston.
Trustee Gerard Jervis said his attorney, Ronald Sakamoto, 46, a partner in the Honolulu law firm of Char Sakamoto Ishii Lum & Ching, will represent him.
Jervis said he was confident there will be no finding that he breached his fiduciary responsibilities. "I welcome the inquiries," he said, referring to the investigation headed by state Attorney General Margery Bronster and the fact-finding inquiry by retired state Circuit Judge Patrick Yim.
Trustee Oswald Stender is represented by attorney Crystal Rose, 39, a partner in the Honolulu law firm of Bays Deaver Hiatt Lung & Rose. Rose accompanied Stender when he met with Bronster last month.
Trustees Richard "Dickie" Wong, Henry Peters and Lokelani Lindsey could not be reached for comment yesterday.
McCorriston declined to reveal who are the personal attorneys for Wong, Peters and Lindsey. He also declined to say when trustees retained personal attorneys and when the estate hired Moore.
McCorriston said he and Moore are representing the institutional interests of the Bishop Estate, while the trustees have their own lawyers because "it's hard now to ascertain what the attorney general's investigation consists of."
It is when Bronster's investigation becomes more focused that he, Moore and the trustees' personal attorneys will know who has to respond, McCorriston said.
"Until there are specific allegations, it's like shadow boxing," he added.
Cynthia Quinn, Bronster's special assistant, said McCorriston should by now know where the state inquiry is headed. "It's abundantly clear" that Bronster is investigating individual trustees - not the estate, Quinn said.
And if it becomes clear that McCorriston's role, for example, is more in the interest of the trustees than the Bishop Estate, the state will ask the court that trust funds not be used to pay McCorriston, Quinn said.
'Resistance is a mistake'
Cayetano, who had urged reporters to ask estate representatives if they were amassing a large and formidable legal team, did at the same time say, "If I am wrong, I apologize."
But he also asserted that "resistance to us looking into (Bishop Estate) documents is a mistake."
Cayetano added: "If you want to just get this thing over with, it's not hard to separate the interest of the trustees from the estate. If what we want is information which may substantiate that trust money was used to repair someone's home, how is that hurting the estate by giving us that information? In fact, it helps protect the estate from further misuse of money - if, in fact, it was misused."
The "Broken Trust" opinion piece that appeared Aug. 9 in the Star-Bulletin, sparked the state's investigation. One of the questions it raised: Did trustee Lindsey use Bishop Estate workers "to survey her North Shore property, process her permits and supervise the rebuilding of her house"?
Cayetano said even with 1998 an election year, the investigation won't go away.
~ ~ ~
Reporters object to subpoenas
By Gordon Pang, Star-Bulletin
Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate will have to go to court if it wants the notes and documents of three reporters who have written on the estate.
Attorneys for the reporters are objecting to subpoenas served by Bishop Estate two weeks ago.
Paul Alston, who is representing reporters Jim Dooley of KITV News4 and Sally Apgar of the Honolulu Advertiser, yesterday filed formal objections in Circuit Court.
Both he and Corey Park, attorney for Associated Press reporter Bruce Dunford, have sent letters to the estate refusing to release any documents.
Bishop Estate alleges that information obtained by the reporters came from Bobby Harmon, an executive who was fired by the estate.
Harmon, who served as president and chief executive for Bishop subsidiary P&C Insurance Co., was sued by the estate to stop him from releasing information he gathered or learned while still in its employment.
The estate says Harmon stole documents from its offices.
Harmon countersued, claiming wrongful termination.
Alston said the subpoenas served to his clients were improperly issued and violate the First Amendment.
He added that Harmon never claimed to have given reporters anything more than a synopsis of information which he wrote.
Park said it didn't matter even if Harmon had given his client documents that were stolen.
"The press in this case was not a party to any kind of alleged improper activity in obtaining the information."
The estate must now ask a judge to intercede if it wants the documents.
Estate spokeswoman Elisa Yadao would not say if the estate would go to court to seek the documents.
"We are going to do what is appropriate and prudent in our attempts to get the information back," she said.
~ ~ ~
May 8, 1999
THEN THERE WERE NONE
embrace the chance for
reform and healing
Read the complete text of Judge Chang's ruling
By Rick Daysog, Star-Bulletin
A judge has delivered a possibly fatal blow to the trustees of the Bishop Estate in a historic decision that many believe will lead to the resolution of the two-year controversy surrounding the estate.
Probate Judge Kevin Chang yesterday ordered the immediate and interim removal of trustees Richard "Dickie" Wong, Henry Peters, Lokelani Lindsey and Gerard Jervis in a move that could lead to their permanent dismissal from their $1 million-a-year jobs.
Chang also accepted the voluntary resignation of trustee Oswald Stender and named a panel of five interim trustees to assume the duties of the ousted board members.
The interim trustees -- who were previously appointed by Chang to serve as special-purpose trustees to negotiate with the Internal Revenue Service -- are retired Adm. Robert Kihune, former Honolulu Police Chief Francis Keala, attorney Ronald Libkuman, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. treasurer Constance Lau and retired Iolani School headmaster David Paul Coon.
Chang's bombshell follows Circuit Judge Bambi Weil's ruling on Thursday permanently removing Lindsey from the multibillion-dollar trust's board after a four-month trial that ended in April. Trustees Stender and Jervis had sued for Lindsey's ouster, saying she breached her fiduciary duties, mismanaged the estate-run Kamehameha Schools and was unfit to serve.
Yesterday's decision, after a five-hour hearing, came after Chang ordered the trustees to demonstrate why they should not resign or be temporarily removed. The IRS, which has been conducting an audit of the estate since 1996, had threatened to revoke the charitable trust's tax-exempt status if the trustees were not removed.
Loss of the tax-exempt status could have cost the estate tens of millions of dollars a year and forced it to pay significant back taxes.
Chang said the trustees' refusal to step down "creates an immediate and substantial risk of significant harm to the trust estate" and "constitutes a breach of trust."
Under yesterday's order, Chang gave the attorney general's office, the estate's court-appointed master or the interim trustees 90 days to seek the permanent removal of the trustees. If no such suit is filed during the 90-day period, the former board members must ask the court to lift the temporary ban.
Chang also ordered the ousted trustees not to communicate with estate employees, attorneys and their agents and has ordered them off the boards of their various subsidiaries and affiliates.
In February, Chang forbade the trustees from negotiating with the IRS over issues raised by its audits. After reviewing some 2,500 pages of reports known as IRS Form 5701s, or notices of proposed adjustments, Chang found that the trustees had a conflict and prohibited them from handling audit issues.
Yesterday, Wong said he would appeal Chang's ruling because he believes his rights to due process were violated. Since Chang removed the trustees from discussing audit issues with the IRS, Wong said he has never been informed of any wrongdoing.
"I'm entitled to due process and I want to face my accusers and face the allegations. I want to know why I was removed," Wong said.
"I'm not going to walk away from a fight."
Fellow trustee Henry Peters has also hinted at an appeal and has raised the possibility of suing the IRS. Peters yesterday denied wrongdoing, saying the trust today is far more wealthy and liquid than it ever has been.
Peters pointed to this week's public offering of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which added about $600 million to the estate's coffers. After the estate's investing $500 million in the Wall Street investment banking firm, the value of its holdings in Goldman has risen to as much as $2 billion.
"I'm not here to win a popularity contest, I'm here to do my job as a trustee. I can tell you unequivocally that we've done a good job," Peters said.
"We are big, we are massive, we are wealthy. If you want to refer to that as too much power, than so be it. We are proud of our legacy. We've done a wonderful job here and we're not going to apologize for our success."
To be sure, Wong and Peters are significant players in the controversy surrounding the trust. Both are targets of removal proceedings initiated by former Attorney General Margery Bronster and both have been indicted by separate grand juries investigating an alleged kickback scheme involving Bishop Estate land.
Stender said Chang's decision paves the way for major reforms of the Bishop Estate's operation. Future trustees will be more accountable to the needs of the Kamehameha Schools and to the interests of students, he said.
"I'm very pleased with the court's ruling today because it creates a new era for Kamehameha Schools and a new era for the management of the trust," Stender said.
Randall Roth, University of Hawaii law professor and co-author of the "Broken Trust" essay that criticized trustees' management of the estate, said that once the interim trustees take office, they will be able to waive the attorney-client privilege which former board members used to shield themselves from the state's investigation and to delay justice.
The interim trustees, according to Roth, see the benefit of cooperating with the state and federal probes.
"As a practical matter, what Chang's decision means is that the old trustees will never again be at the helm of the Bishop Estate," Roth said.
"This legal system is slow but it does deliver."
Meanwhile, members of the Kamehameha Schools ohana embraced yesterday's ruling, calling it the beginning of a long-overdue healing process.
"We are pleased the judicial process has worked, but slowly," said a statement issued by Na Pua, an organization of 3,300 Kamehameha Schools alumni, faculty, parents and students.
"Today's court decision is a vindication of the Kamehameha ohana and particularly for the many individuals who placed themselves at risk by speaking out."
Yesterday's hearing, before a packed audience, was attended by more than two dozen lawyers, including Bronster, who received an ovation when she entered the courtroom.
Last week, the state Senate, by a 14-11 vote, rejected Bronster's bid for a second term as attorney general, in a vote many believed was engineered by estate trustees.
Bronster, who launched the state's investigation of the Bishop Estate that led to the indictments of Wong and Peters, praised Chang for his decision and also trustee Oswald Stender for voluntarily stepping down.
"I think the court's order was very well thought out and it is a very important step," Bronster said.
"There's still a lot to be done."
Attorneys for trustees Wong, Peters and Lindsey argued that their clients' rights to a fair trial were denied. Ron Malone, Wong's attorney, accused the special-purpose trustees of "caving in to the IRS," which he said wants board members out so it can negotiate a settlement in its favor.
Malone said he believed that Wong is the target of a "mob mentality" and urged Chang to order a full evidentiary hearing. The request was denied.
Deputy Attorney General Dorothy Sellers said the trustees' real motives for keeping their jobs were made clear by their attorneys' arguments.
"What we heard today was 'Me, me, me, me. My job, my power, my authority, my rights, my compensation, my due process rights,' " Sellers said.
"Tell the trustees that the game is over. Take them out."
~ ~ ~
July 19, 2003
VIA fax only @ (559) 490-1919
Mr. Justin W. Schuck
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 Mr. Schuck:
This is in response to your letter of July 18, 2003, in which you state:
“After careful consideration of the parties’ contentions, the Association has determined that Lance M. Inouye will not serve as arbitrator in the above matter.
“Accordingly, the Association will make an administrative appointment and submits the following four (4) names of arbitrators, of which the Association plans to appoint.
Boyd P. Mossman, Esq.
Judith Neustadier, Esq.
Alan Van Etten, Esq.
Patrick K.S.L. Yim
“A biographical statement about each of the arbitrators is enclosed.
“If the parties should have any factual objections with regards to any of the foregoing, they are to be filed with this office on or before July 23, 2003. If no factual objections are received by that date, of these arbitrators will be appointed to serve.”
The following are my factual objections to the appointment of these individuals:
Boyd. P. Mossman, Esq.
Mr. Mossman is an alumni of Kamehameha Schools and a current director in the Kamehameha Schools’ Alumni Association, Maui Region. He also currently sits on Kamehameha Schools Board of Advisors. Mr. Mossman is also a current trustee for the Office of Hawaii Affairs (OHA), serving along with Oswald Stender, a former Kamehameha Schools trustee who was named in my RICO lawsuit.
OHA suffered a legal setback in a United States Supreme Court decision (Rice vs. Cayetano) which held that elections for OHA trustees that permitted only native Hawaiians to vote for the trustees were race-based and discriminatory, and forced the State to open these elections to eligible voters of all races. The attorney for Rice in this case was John Goemans, who was also my attorney in my wrongful termination lawsuit against Kamehameha Schools.
In May, 2003, in a controversial expenditure of funds, OHA hired the Washington lobbying firm, Patton Boggs LLP, on a retainer of $450,000, to push the Akaka Bill which would create a formal process for Hawaiians to form their own sovereign government.
Judith Neustadier, Esq.
Ms. Neustadter’s biography shows her as “Secretary, Kumu Ao, Inc., a non-profit corporation promoting and perpetuating Hawaiian culture and education.” She holds a professional license as a certified “Ho’oponopono practitioner.” Both of these experiences would indicate a close connection with Kamehameha Schools – if not financially, at least philosophically.
Ms. Neustadter also indicates that she was involved in the AAA sponsored Training for Prudential Mass Claims ADR Project. Prudential is the company that handles Kamehameha’s Employees’ Retirement Plan which has been the subject of many of my “letter-writing campaign” letters. Much more about the class-action lawsuits and government fines levied against Prudential can be found at this website:
Judith Neustadter also holds the position as Hearing Officer for the Maui Planning Commission. In 1998, it was disclosed during Attorney General Margery Bronster’s testimony that House Speaker Joseph Souki received a $132,000 commission for a Maui land deal involving Bishop Estate and developer Everett Dowling, who sold the Estate a 100-acre parcel in Pukalani, Maui, in December 1996.
In an article in the September 11, 1998 edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, reporter Rick Daysog wrote:
Bronster: ‘Sweetheart deals’ with cronies
“I believe certain trustees received kickbacks worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
– Margery Bronster
Raising the possibility of criminal charges, Attorney General Margery Bronster says Bishop Estate trustees received kickbacks, participated in illegal political campaign contributions and mismanaged Kamehameha Schools....
Key Figures Named in the Attorney General’s Petition
>> Joseph M. Souki
66, of Wailuku is a Democrat, the current speaker of the state House. The owner of a real estate company, Souki this summer was questioned by the state attorney general over a Maui land deal involving Bishop Estate that earned him a $132,000 commission. Souki denied any wrongdoing and said it was a private real estate transaction....
Judith Neustadter was also a defendant in a controversial zoning case on Maui involving the denial of the use of agricultural property as a place of worship. According to a news release by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty dated October 9, 2001:
“Members of the Maui Planning Commission today were served with copies of an amended complaint naming them as defendants in their individual, as well as official, capacities in a lawsuit filed by the Hale O Kaula church. The action came as they prepared to convene their regular meeting at the Maui County office building in Wailuku. The lawsuit was initially filed on September 19 in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
“Named as individual defendants were Commission members Samuel Kalalau III, Jeremy F. Kozuki, Bernice Liu, Star Medeiros, Susan Moikeha, Herman Nascimento, Randy Piltz, Joseph Pontanilla and Mona Richardson. Other defendants in the lawsuit include Planning Director John E. Min, Maui Mayor James Apana, Jr., Commission Hearing Officer Judith Neustadter Fuqua, Hawaii Governor Benjamin Cayetano and State Land Use Commission Executive Director Anthony Ching. Mayor Apana, Gov. Cayetano and Mr. Ching are sued only in their official capacities. The suit also names the Maui Planning Commission, the County of Maui and the Land Use Commission of Hawaii as defendants....”
An article in the June 26, 2001 edition of the Star-Bulletin states:
“An elder in a Maui church says his members are willing to go to the nation’s highest court if the county does not grant them a permit to build a chapel on ... their farmland....
“In the last few years, Kamehameha Schools has been developed on the makai side of the church’s property. Across a gulch a commercial center is under construction.
“People here once said they lived in an isolated agriculture neighborhood,” Jenkins said. “Now, it’s not.”
“County hearings officer Judith Neustadter Fuqua has recommended the commission deny the permit because of ‘unacceptable levels of traffic and noise’ and the burden placed on public agencies for such needs as water and fire protection....”
An article in the June 28, 2001 edition of the Star-Bulletin states:
Maui commission turns down church’s plan for a new chapel
The Maui Planning Commission denied a church’s request to build a chapel on agricultural land yesterday, triggering the likelihood of a legal challenge to state and county land-use laws....
Church officials said they did not present arguments during a contested-case hearing because officer Judith Neustadter Fuque expressed an opinion in favor of neighborhood residents during a settlement conference....”
This situation raises the question in many persons’ minds as to why the Maui Planning Commission would reject the rezoning of agriculture land for church use, while previously approving the rezoning of residential land for the much larger projects of Kamehameha Schools and a shopping center in the same neighborhood.
Alan Van Etten, Esq.
A biography for Alan Van Etten states, “After graduating from law school, Alan served as a law clerk to the Honorable William S. Richardson, Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court.”
Chief Justice William Richardson is a former Trustee for Kamehameha Schools, and was an officer for P&C Insurance Company at the time of my termination. Mr. Richardson was a named Defendant in my RICO lawsuit.
Notwithstanding the obvious conflict of interest in this particular arbitration case, I am very impressed with the background of Mr. Etten as he has done extensive work regarding “bad faith” claims against insurance companies. Because of his excellent work in this field, I am contemplating contacting him with regard to potential “bad faith” claims that I may have against P&C Insurance Company and Tradewind Insurance Company, depending upon the outcome of this arbitration process.
Patrick K.S.L. Yim
On May 14, 1997, the former Bishop Estate trustees sought to have retired Circuit Judge Patrick Yim as fact-finder into allegations surrounding Kamehameha Schools.
On July 10, 1997, a court order was filed appointing Yim to conduct and begin an investigation.
On December 4, 1997, Judge Yim filed his “Final Report of Fact Finder”. In this official report, Mr. Yim writes:
II. BACKGROUND OF THE FACT FINDING PROCESS
On May 4, 1997, Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate’s (“KSBE”) General Counsel, Nathan Aipa, Esq., first inquired as to Judge Patrick K.S.L. Yim’s (“Fact Finder” or “Yim”) availability to serve as a Fact Finder.....
Nathan Aipa was my direct superior at Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools, and was an officer for P&C Insurance Company.
Mr. Aipa also was directly involved in my termination from Kamehameha Schools, and he was a named Defendant in my RICO lawsuit.
In early 1998, the Star-Bulletin ran the following story:
Yim destroyed files on Kamehameha
by Rick Daysog
Court-appointed fact finder Patrick Yim told the state that he destroyed his files of interviews with Kamehameha Schools staffers, which were the basis for his highly critical report on the management of the Kapalama Heights campus.
A spokesman for one of the trustees said the destruction casts doubt on the credibility of the Yim report....
Doug Carlson, spokesman for [Trustee Lokelani] Lindsey, has criticized the Yim report as flawed, focusing on unsubstantiated rumors and innuendo. Yim’s destruction of the evidence makes it impossible to check if any of his conclusions are valid, Carlson said.
“This bizarre development is one more reason to cast doubt on the credibility of the fact finder’s report,” Carlson said....
I believe these factual objections offer further credence to my previous contentions that “it appears highly unlikely that an attorney can be found in Hawaii that would not have some relationship to one or more of the prominent parties named in my lawsuits.” I would hope, therefore, that the American Arbitration Association will also come to that conclusion and reconsider my request to appoint a qualified arbitrator from outside Bishop Estate’s considerable sphere of political and economic influence.
Thank you for your continuing assistance.
Bobby N. Harmon
cc: Steven Guttman, Atty for Mary Lou Woo (via fax only @ 808-529-7177)
Clyde Mark, Pres., P&C Insurance Co, Inc (via fax only @ 808-540-4301)
Casimer Fidele, Tradewind Insurance Company (via fax only @ 808-521-7489)
Hawaii Atty. Gen. Mark Bennett (via fax only @ 808-586-1239)
Dr. Randy Roth, Office of the Governor (via fax only @ 808-586-0006)
J.P. Schmidt, Hawaii Insurance Commissioner (via fax only @ 808-586-2806)
Peter B. Clark, Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, U.S. Dept of Justice, Criminal Div.
(via fax only @ 202-514-7021)
Tai K. Lee, Special Agent, U.S. Dept of the Treasury (via fax @ 808-539-2810)
IRS, Criminal Investigation, Tempe Office (via fax @ 602-207-8010)
Janet S. Hughes, Mgr, IRS (via fax @ 303-844-3596)
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Judge Patrick Yim is expected to testify regarding his family relationship with former Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate trustee Henry Peters, and his personal and professional relationships with Nathan Aipa; William S. Richardson; Dispute Prevention & Resolution, Inc.; Keith Hunter; Kelly Bryant; David Trask; Peter Trask; Jeffrey Watanabe; Colbert Matsumoto; Benjamin Matsubara; Ronald Libkuman; Robert K.U. Kihune; Constance Lau; Diane Plotts, Guido Giacometti; Susan Tius; Guy Lam; Peter Savio; Judge James Duffy; Michael Freed; Michael Chun; Maui County Council; Judith Neustadter Fuqua; Steven Guttman; Mary Lou Woo; Mark Morita, Esq., Staff Attorney for the Hawaii Insurance Division, and Associate of the law firm of Tom Petrus & Miller, LLLC; Leslie Kondo, Director of the Office of Information Practices (and formerly of the law firms of Chun & Nagatani, Tom Petrus & Miller, and McCorriston Miho Miller Mukai); Jon Van Dyke, The Consuelo Alger Zobel Foundation; Thomas Kaulukukui Jr.; David Peters; Robert Ozaki; The Queen Lilioukalani Trust, Lokelani Lindsey, James Nicholson, David C. Farmer, Judge Kevin Chang, Judge David Ezra, Judge Elizabeth Hifo (fka Bambi Weil), Daniel Case, Susan Ichinose, Todd Apo, Peter Apo, Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, and others to be named upon discovery.
Documents, News Articles and Related Links
Equity 2048 -The Richards Report
XL Reinsurance Policy No. XLRKS-01796
Equity 2048 - Related Correspondence and Documents
IRS Closing Agreement for Kamehameha Schools
Apartheid, Hawaiian Style
Broken Trust - The Book
Lost Generations: A Boy, A School, A Princess
KITV Special Report
Originally posted: September 10, 2005, by The Catbird
Last updated: June 18, 2009
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September 10, 2005: Originally posted on www.the-catbird-seat.net
March 13, 2007: Judge David Ezra signs Order to shut down website
June 18, 2009: Latest update on www.kycbs.net
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