Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement & Political Manipulation at America's Largest Charitable Trust

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University of Hawaii Press, 2006 - History - 324 pages
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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.

No one is better qualified to examine the events and personalities surrounding the scandal than two of the original Broken Trust authors. Their comprehensive account together with historical background, brings to light information that has never before been made public, including accounts of secret meetings and communications involving Supreme Court justices.


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About the author (2006)

Samuel P. King received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University. After serving in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence officer during World War II, he returned to Hawai‘i to practice law. In 1972, after having served as president of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and as a Hawai‘i Circuit Court judge and co-founder of the state’s family court system, King was appointed a U.S. District Court judge. His father, Samuel W. King, was a Bishop Estate trustee from 1957 until his death in 1959.

Randall W. Roth has taught at the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law since 1982. In 1997 he was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and in 2003 he served as Hawai‘i Governor Linda Lingle’s senior policy adviser during her first year in office. He also has served as president of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association, Hawai‘i Justice Foundation, Hawai‘i Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and Hawai‘i Estate Planning Council.

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