State labor supervisor investigated for other allegations
A supervisor with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations who was recently fined $1,000 by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission also was investigated for accusations that he repeatedly touched a female business owner who was fined $9,400 in 2016 and said he could “fix” the fine if the woman went to dinner with him.
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A supervisor with
the state Department
of Labor and Industrial Relations who was
recently fined $1,000 by the Hawaii State Ethics Commission also was investigated for accusations that he repeatedly touched a female business owner who was fined $9,400 in 2016 and said he could “fix” the fine if the woman went to dinner with him.
On Jan. 22 the Hawaii State Ethics Commission ordered Tin Shing Chao — Occupational Health Branch manager for DLIR’s Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division — to pay a $1,000 penalty for driving two probationary employees on separate occasions to a used car dealership owned by a friend to buy vehicles they were not required to have as part of their jobs.
The fine was ordered after Chao faced several unrelated accusations, including repeatedly touching the female business owner, as alleged by Allen Miho, who had been the Safety Branch manager for the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division.
DLIR officials said they could not comment on a personnel issue. Chao could not be reached for comment.
Dan Gluck, executive director and general counsel for the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, said, “I’m aware of Mr. Miho’s allegations, and we conducted a thorough investigation. … As with any case that we resolve, matters are investigated thoroughly and fairly,
and this matter is now closed.”
Miho previously supervised the safety offices at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-
Hickam and was a safety
adviser at the Hawaii State Hospital and has since left DLIR.
There were irregularities regarding the October 2016 inspection of the business on North King Street that resulted in the $9,400 fine, according to Miho.
The amount of the fine was typical, Miho said, but then Chao allegedly conducted a follow-up inspection that was not warranted, Miho said.
The Chinese-speaking owner who received the fine wanted a meeting at DLIR to discuss her penalty, and Miho said he was assigned to the meeting because Chao was leaving for a trip to the mainland. At the time, Miho said he and Chao were peers.
Before Chao went on his mainland trip and before the meeting with the business owner occurred, Miho claims Chao told him that the owner was a widow and that “I never had dinner with that woman.” Miho said he had no idea what Chao was talking about.
“He told me she’s a widow,” Miho alleged. “I don’t ask people I inspect, ‘Are you single? Are you divorced? Are you a widow?’”
Then Miho said he met the owner, along with an interpreter and a co-worker who took detailed notes, for two hours.
During the meeting, the business owner allegedly said through an interpreter that Chao “kept touching her and asking her out for dinner, telling her he can fix this,” according to Miho.
After meeting with the business owner, Miho said he immediately notified the head of the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division about her allegations, but nothing was done and Chao remains in his position.
“I know he wasn’t suspended or reprimanded,” Miho said.