20 Years Ago, Bishop Estate Scandal Led To Strict Charities Oversight in Hawaii

The essay titled “Broken Trust”, published on August 9, 1997 by the Honolulu Star Bulletin, reported widespread corruption involving Bishop Estate, the largest private property owner in the State of Hawaii, and led to the formation of a charities regulation group in the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General that exists to this day.

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Now-retired University of Hawaii law professor Randall Roth and the late Judge Samuel P. King, along with prominent Hawaiian community members Walter Heen, Gladys Brandt, and Charles Kekumano, wrote the essay that exposed the Bishop Estate scandal involving the trustees of one of the largest charitable trusts in the United States.

Attorney General Doug Chin said: “Under former Governor Ben Cayetano, Hawaii Attorney General Margery Bronster began legal proceedings to remove the culpable trustees. We appreciate their example. For 20 years, the Department of the Attorney General has maintained strict oversight over organizations that solicit charitable contributions in Hawaii. Our office is nationally recognized for its pioneering oversight program.”

For information regarding the Hawaii Charity Registry, see http://ag.ehawaii.gov/charity/.

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