Tensions rise as key hearing on Kawananakoa trust pushed back

Tensions rise as key hearing on Kawananakoa trust pushed back
Updated: Jun. 19, 2018 at 5:35 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A hearing that could decide the fate of Hawaiian royalty descendant Abigail Kawananakoa's $200 million fortune will be delayed until next month.

State Probate Judge Mark Browning reset a hearing scheduled for Thursday to July 12 after several of Kawananakoa's former employees said they were not included in the court proceedings.

"We haven't been provided with any of the documentation, any of the pleadings and there is a hearing that's being scheduled for Thursday, for which we weren't given notice," said lawyer Megan Kau, who represents former housekeeper Thongbay Smart and Kawananakoa's ranch manager, Wayne Shizuru.

The continuance comes as Smart, who has worked for Kawananakoa for 30 years and was named as a beneficiary, is being evicted from their Pearl City home.

Other members of Smart's family were also fired.

Kau said her clients were retaliated against because they spoke with a court-appointed medical examiner and a Special Master about the heiress' mental and physical fitness.

"I'm convinced that they're being evicted because they spoke to the master and because they gave statements," Kau said.

The medical examiner, Los Angeles psychiatrist Dr. David Trader, concluded that Kawananakoa lacked the mental capacity to manage her own financial affairs.

The report was filed under seal but a copy was provided to Hawaii News Now anonymously.

In court, attorneys for Kawananakoa and her wife Veronica Worth blasted the leak of Trader's report, saying it contained confidential medical information.

"That's a flagrant violation not only of the statute and my client's confidentiality but the integrity of this court. And I have a pretty good idea of who it is, I can't prove it," said Michael Lilly, Kawananakoa's attorney.

Added Michael Rudy, Worth's lawyer: "We've had a plethora of leaks. Most of them that have appeared in the press have been defamatory and have cast my client and Miss Kawananakoa in a negative light," he said.

Trader's report will be the focus of the July 12 hearing.

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