Sunday, March 26, 2006
Samuel P. King (Senior U.S. District Judge, District of Hawai‘i) & Randall W. Roth (Tax Prof at University of Hawai‘i) have published Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement, and Political Manipulation at America’s Largest Charitable Trust (University of Hawai‘i Press 2006):
Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop was the largest landowner and richest woman in the Hawaiian kingdom. Upon her death in 1884, she entrusted her property--known as Bishop Estate--to five trustees in order to create and maintain an institution that would benefit the children of Hawai‘i: Kamehameha Schools. A century later, Bishop Estate controlled nearly one out of every nine acres in the state, a concentration of private land ownership rarely seen anywhere in the world. Then in August 1997 the unthinkable happened: Four revered kupuna (native Hawaiian elders) and a professor of trust-law publicly charged Bishop Estate trustees with gross incompetence and massive trust abuse. Entitled “Broken Trust,” the statement provided devastating details of rigged appointments, violated trusts, cynical manipulation of the trust’s beneficiaries, and the shameful involvement of many of Hawai‘i’s powerful.
This book brings to light information that has never before been made public, including accounts of secret meetings involving Supreme Court justices, and ways the judiciary avoided a public airing of its dirty laundry. "Broken Trust" also throws a spotlight on the legislature, the legal profession, the native Hawaiian community, and the media, showing how each functioned-or failed to function-during the two-year crisis and its aftermath. This book offers readers the opportunity to reexamine fundamental questions about unchecked power and civic responsibility that resonate far beyond the shores of America's 50th State.