On January 4, 2018, Karen Chun filed a complaint with the Hawaii State Ethics Board alleging that Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) aka Core Civic neglected on four occasions to report that they were paying Attorney General Doug Chin to lobby on their behalf. That complaint was later followed up by a more formal sworn complaint.
Chun alleges that CCA’s oversight in not reporting money paid for Chin’s lobbying was to prevent the public and the state senators from having full information on Chin’s lobbying activities during his vetting and confirmation process.
CCA operates the Saguaro private prison at a cost to Hawaii of $45 million in 2016.
AG Chin was confirmed in January of 2015. Four months after his confirmation, in April of 2015, CCA submitted amendments to their four filings for 2013 and 2014 add that they paid $68,748 Chin to lobby for them.
“Chin was appointed to Attorney General and confirmed in January 2015. His lobbying history was supposed to be public. It was hidden from the public during his entire vetting and confirmation process,” states Ms. Chun.
From 2008 to 2010, four Hawaii prisoners died after being involved in incidents occurring at Saguaro. There have been constant complaints of poor oversight and Saguaro has been the subject of investigations by journalists.
Doug Chin has defended the Department of Safety in blocking journalists from obtaining information on deaths and injuries of prisoners in CCA’s custody. Mother Jones details their unsuccessful attempts to pry information out of the State.
A day after Chun initially emailed her complaint to the ethics complaint, Chin stated he will announce Sunday whether he would be stepping down from his position as Attorney General.
Facts of the complaint:
CCA filed their Lobbying disclosure for May 1 – Dec 31, 2013 without mention of any money paid to Doug Chin. Originally filed – 1/31/2014
They then filed the Jan 1 – Feb 28, 2014 lobbying disclosure – again without mention of money paid to Doug Chin. Originally filed – 3/27/2014.
Once again the filed for the period of Mar 1 – Apr 30, 2014 somehow forgetting to include money paid to Doug Chin. Originally filed – 5/30/2014.
And for the fourth time the Lobbying Period – May 1 – Dec 31, 2014 report omitted money paid to Doug Chin. Originally filed – 1/12/2014.
Chin was appointed and confirmed to Attorney General in January 2015.
On April 6th, three months after Chin’s confirmation, CCA came back and amended all four disclosures to reveal that they had paid over $68,000 to Doug Chin for lobbying on behalf of the private prison corporation.
Amended (to include Chin $27,500) – 4/8/2015
Amended (to include Chin $2,500) – 4/8/2015
Amended (to include Chin $7,500) – 4/8/2015
Amended again (to include Sabas $31,248, Chin $31,248) – 4/8/2015