One of Doug Chin’s opponents in the congressional campaign said Wednesday that he plans to file a federal ethics complaint against Chin’s campaign manager.

Campaign finance records on file with the Federal Election Commission show payments totaling nearly $90,000 were made to Dylan Beesley’s consulting company, Lanakila Strategies, by the campaign of Mark Takai, the U.S. representative who died in July 2016.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser first reported the story on Friday. Beesley has said the money was part of winding down the late congressman’s campaign committee and any expenditures were reviewed by a compliance firm and legal counsel. 

Chin, Hawaii’s attorney general, indicated that he stood by Beesley but told him to “get his house in order.”

AG Doug Chin Hawaii v Trump presser Attorney General. 4 feb 2017

Attorney General Doug Chi, seen here in February, is being attacked by his three congressional opponents over actions involving his campaign manager.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

But state Rep. Kaniela Ing, a Maui Democrat running against Chin and two other candidates for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District seat, said he is disturbed by the action of Chin, the state’s top law enforcement officer.

“This sort of thing is exactly why so many folks have so little trust in government, and why we need new, fresh leadership,” said Ing, who called Takai a mentor.

A press release from the Ing campaign said his complaint would focus on the FEC “reportedly” allowing for “the winding down” of campaigns for six months. Ing said Beesley “siphoned payments to himself for over a year.”

State Rep. Kaniela Ing of in 2016. He says he will file an ethics complaint with the FEC.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

On Tuesday, the other two candidates in the congressional race also jumped all over Chin.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said she welcomed an FEC investigation into the Beesley situation “so that this kind of practice doesn’t happen again.”

She also lodged a concern about Chin similar to Ing’s: “I would have expected the state’s chief legal officer to have exercised more discretion and fully research the federal election campaign rules before taking a position on it.”

Honolulu City Council member Ernie Martin.

Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin says Chin should resign as attorney general immediately.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

And Ernie Martin, a Honolulu City Council member, on Tuesday urged the state Senate to weigh in on Chin.

“The Hawaii state Senate should immediately take the time to review his candidacy and tacit endorsement of his campaign manager’s business practices and deliver their formal opinion about whether or not he can continue as AG,” Martin said in a press release.

Martin deemed Chin’s defense of Beesley “inexplicable.”

Echoing Kim and Ing, he said, “As a law enforcement officer, an attorney and as a decent human being, Doug Chin should know better.”

Chin announced Jan. 7 that he would leave the attorney general’s office in March. But Martin said Chin should step down immediately.

WAM Senator Donna Mercado Kim listens to HART officials testimony during legislature extended session held at the Capitol auditorium.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said actions by Chin’s campaign manager “raises serious legal and ethical questions.”

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Asked to respond to all three of his opponents concerns, Chin said, “Dylan has served progressives and the people of Hawaii in a number of important capacities, helping secure wins for two congressional campaigns in Hawaii, the Hillary for America campaign and other national and local Democratic initiatives.

“If there is a concern, I leave that to the Takai campaign leadership to address.”

The four Democrats are vying for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is running for Hawaii governor.

It is unclear how the FEC might rule on an ethics complaint. But here is a link to the applicable federal code, which reads as follows:

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