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Lawyer's death to be investigated

April 21, 1999

Section: Hawaii

Page: 1B

Apgar Sally Staff Advertiser Final

Husband may sue in Bishop Estate attorney’s suicide By Sally Apgar, ADVERTISER STAFF WRITER

The husband of the woman who committed suicide last month after an encounter in a hotel bathroom with Bishop Estate trustee Gerard Jervis has hired a law firm to investigate her death in preparation for a potential lawsuit.

Scott Kitaoka, the husband of attorney Rene Ojiri Kitaoka, has hired the firm of Cronin Fried Sekiya Kekina & Fairbanks to “investigate the circumstances surrounding the unattended death of his wife” on March 3, according to documents filed yesterday in Circuit Court.

Attorney Clarence Kekina is petitioning the court to grant a subpoena for the investigation reports by the Honolulu Police Department and all related records, bills and photographs.

In requesting the subpoena, Kekina said the documents “are essential in the determination of whether there is a cause of action against any potential persons arising out of the unattended death.”

The filing did not identify anyone who might be the target of a possible lawsuit.

Neither Kekina nor Kitaoka could be reached for comment yesterday.

Ronald Sakamoto, the attorney representing Jervis, declined to comment.

Jervis, 50, has been a Bishop Estate trustee since 1994, and ReneKitaoka, 39, was a lawyer for Kamehameha Investment Corp., a Bishop Estate subsidiary.

On the evening of March 2, Jervis and Rene Kitaoka were discovered in a compromising situation in a men’s restroom at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki. Hotel security people questioned the two, photographed them and barred them from the hotel.

The next afternoon, Scott Kitaoka found his wife’s body inside her Buick with the motor running in their closed Kaneohe garage.

On March 11, Jervis was rushed to Castle Medical Center after he took an overdose of sleeping pills. Sources close to Jervis have said he knew the restroom incident and Kitaoka’s suicide were about to become public.

Yesterday, Jervis attended his first meeting of the board of trustees since his overdose. Recently, Jervis spoke to staff of Kamehameha Investment, where Jervis still serves as chairman.

In a statement released yesterday, Sakamoto said, “Trustee Jervis has returned to work on a limited basis. He is still under doctor’s care. He is not prepared to make a statement or answer questions at this time. He is seriously assessing his future and is talking to a number of key people in this regard.”

Copyright (c) The Honolulu Advertiser. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.