In a sworn affidavit, Lacy said he was in Thrall's offices in the World Trade Bank building in Beverly Hills when he noticed a pile of loose-leaf binders on a conference table. When he examined the binders, Lacy said, he discovered that they contained "highly confidential commercial information" prepared by the Federal Home Loan Bank on more than 50 savings and loans.
Such information would be extremely valuable to anyone trying to evaluate which thrifts might be good takeover targets. But federal regulations prohibit the disclosure of such material, even to potential investors.
In an interview, Thrall acknowledged that Lacy had visited his office. But he strongly denied receiving any confidential government documents to which the partnership was not entitled, a denial echoed by Simon and Parsky in separate interviews.
Faulstich said potential investors often receive extensive documents after signing a confidentiality agreement, but he said he had no knowledge of the Simon group receiving information on such a large number of institutions.
Lacy filed his lawsuit earlier this year, partly as a result of what he said was mistreatment at Honfed after he complained that responsibility for four major real estate projects was taken away from him during the reappraisal process.
After his complaints, he said he was banished to a small, windowless room, stripped of his duties and forced to surrender the elevator key that gave him access to the executive floors of Honfed's headquarters in the Honolulu financial district. He eventually resigned.
Two other lawsuits in the state court in Hawaii make similar claims about the methods used by Honfed in valuing its assets in connection with the takeover last year.
Robert E. Bjerke, a Honolulu businessman, accused Honfed of breach of contract in the financing of a regional shopping center he developed on the island of Hawaii. Bjerke said the center was 80% complete and profitable when Honfed foreclosed on its $29.5-million construction loan in 1986.
The lawsuit said Honfed blocked Bjerke's attempt to refinance the loan through other lenders "in order to acquire the asset for themselves at below market cost."
Lawyers for Honfed responded in court with harsh language, labeling the charges "conscious prevarication" aimed at smearing "nationally respected figures."
The Bjerke lawsuit has evoked at least one interesting sidelight.
Simon was removed from the suit as a personal defendant when a judge determined that he did not have sufficient dealings in Hawaii to give the court jurisdiction. In an effort to demonstrate Simon's role in Hawaii, Bjerke's lawyer came up with a novel plan.
After learning that Simon and his partners would pay an early morning visit to the shopping center on a Sunday last January, the lawyer dispatched a photographer to capture Simon's presence and the photographer, John L. Wilson III, dutifully found the Simon group and began to take photographs.
"As I began taking pictures, several of the gentlemen ran to cover Mr. Simon from the camera, and all of them then proceeded to run out of the shopping center quickly," Wilson said in an affidavit.
Simon said he had no recollection of the event and Parsky, who accompanied him on the visit, said the group was never even aware of the photographer's presence.
In August, Honfed's lawyers reached a tentative settlement with Bjerke that allowed him to search for a buyer for the shopping center at a minimum price of $29.5 million, the amount of Honfed's construction loan on the property and more than double the appraised value of the center on Honfed's books--$13.8 million.
His lawyer, Gary V. Dubin, said a few days ago that negotiations were under way with a prospective buyer and he expected a completed transaction in the next few weeks.
Still unsettled is a suit filed by Gerald E. Kremkow, a Honolulu businessman and former head of real estate development for E. F. Hutton & Co. He is trying to stop Honfed from terminating a development agreement and selling off 3,000 acres of land on the island of Hawaii.
In 1982, Kremkow got an option from an oil company to buy the parcel, which consists of rolling hills and tree-lined pasture overlooking the Pacific Ocean from 5,000 feet above sea level. Kremkow envisioned luxury homes on 115 lots, ranging from 10 to 40 acres on the site.
Honfed and Kremkow entered a joint venture agreement, with the thrift agreeing to buy the land from the oil company for $8.4 million and invest the $6 million or so needed to develop the property. Kremkow would head the development, which was called Waikii Ranch.
The early results were promising. A 4,200-foot water well, believed to be the world's deepest, was a gusher and promised more than enough water for the project. By last June, 46 of the lots with a total price of $15.8 million had been reserved under a pre-sale program in which buyers placed small amounts of money in escrow pending completion of the infrastructure.