HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A state watchdog agency has fined a Department of Land and Natural Resources supervisor $10,000 for violating the state ethics law.
The Hawaii Ethics Commission said Patrick Chong Tim admitted to using state equipment and his position to benefit his private employers.
“This is very serious. It is a breach of public trust," said DLNR critic and environmental activist Carroll Cox.
Chong Tim is the supervisor for the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ marine enforcement unit.
But on the side, he has worked as a marine rescue trainer for two private companies: Big Wave Risk Assessment and iWaterman.
The commission said his dual roles sometimes clashed.
The private companies provide marine rescue training for first responders and corporate clients.
According to the commission, Chong Tim drove his state patrol car to go to training sessions conducted by iWaterman and Big Wave.
It also says he used his state email to organize company training sessions and that used his position so that one of the private company could store equipment at a DLNR facility at Marine Base Kaneohe.
“When you have behavior such as this -- unethical, illegal -- that’s wrong," said Cox.
Chong Tim could not be reached. The department did not respond to questions about Chong Tim’s employment status but issued a statement:
“The Department of Land and Natural Resources is aware of the settlement agreement between Mr. Chong Tim and the Ethics Commission. As this is a personnel related matter, we will have no further comment," the DLNR said in an email.