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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 11, 2003

Kamehameha Schools settles on campaign issues

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

Kamehameha Schools has settled state Campaign Spending Commission allegations that it violated state campaign spending laws and will pay a $10,000 fine.

The settlement, reached last month, avoids a costly court battle, said Robert Watada, executive director of the spending commission. The deal must still be approved Thursday by the commission's five-member board, he said.

The charitable trust does not admit to any wrongdoing in the four-page settlement, said Hamilton I. McCubbin, chief executive officer of Kamehameha Schools, in a written statement.

McCubbin said the settlement allows the trust "to focus its resources on achieving its educational mission."

The state had alleged that Kamehameha Schools failed to disclose reports on campaign expenditures, polling activities and the collection of fund-raising tickets between 1992 and 1997.

The commission began its investigation in April 2001, using the records of a previous investigation by the state attorney general's office.

All five of the trustees serving the estate at the time of the alleged infractions have been replaced, which was part of the reason the spending commission accepted the settlement, Watada said. The other was cost.

"We could have gone into an investigation which would mean subpoenas and depositions and a great deal of cost to Kamehameha Schools and us," Watada said.

"All the infractions ... they happened under the old regime and I think it is quite clear that the new trustees are making absolutely sure that Kamehameha Schools will not get involved in the financing of campaigns."

Reach Mike Gordon at 525-8012 or mgordon@honoluluadvertiser.com.