U.S. congressional candidate and state Attorney General Doug Chin said Friday he believes his campaign manager was following the rules while receiving payments from the late Rep. Mark Takai's congressional campaign.
The payments would seem to be legal if they were vetted by lawyers and approved by a compliance officer, Chin told reporters.
Chin spoke after the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Takai's campaign paid nearly $90,000 to a consulting company run by Dylan Beesley in the 18 months after Takai's death.
One payment was made as recently as four months ago, the newspaper reported, citing Federal Election Commission data.
Beesley is listed in campaign finance transaction records as treasurer for the Takai campaign, responsible for authorizing expenditures and depositing receipts. He became Chin's campaign manager this month.
Beesley said in a statement the Takai campaign needs personnel to manage its affairs until the family disposes of its funds. He said the campaign relies on an outside firm and legal counsel to ensure it follows the law.
A phone message left at a number for Takai's widow, Sami Takai, was not immediately returned.
Takai died in 2016 at the age of 49 after a months-long battle with pancreatic cancer.
The newspaper also reported Beesley had failed to submit business registration filings for his company, Lanakila Strategies, in 2016 and 2017 and was listed with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs as "not in good standing" as a result.
Chin said he told Beesley he "wasn't happy about that at all." He said he told him no money from his campaign would go to a business that's not in good standing.
Chin said has Beesley since updated his registration filings.
Chin declared his candidacy last month for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is resigning to run for governor. He plans to resign as attorney general on March 15 to focus on his campaign.