Employee faces discipline for helping woman who bought Mayor Coleman’s house

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The City of Columbus is pursuing administrative charges against an employee who provided assistance to the Chinese businesswoman who bought Mayor Michael Coleman’s house.


Bob Hsieh is accused of dishonesty and misuse of property for helping Jianhua Li beyond his City duties and during his work hours. A notice of disciplinary hearing says Hsieh is accused of violating city work rules including dishonesty, misuse or abuse or destruction of property, failure of good behavior and additional standards for management.

Li bought the Mayor’s former home in Berwick for $520,000 in 2010. Documents show Hsieh helped Li with tasks ranging from bank accounts to lawn maintenance.

The sale of the mayor’s home is under scrutiny by the FBI as part of a wide ranging investigation of City Hall.

The city’s investigative summary states: “The extent of Mr. Hsieh’s assistance to Dr. Li and her associates came to the Department’s attention as a result of the FBI inquiry. Mr. Hsieh’s assistance to Dr. Li is limited to helping her explore establishing business operations in the City of Columbus. Released information indicate that assistance provided by Mr. Hsieh to Dr. Li was outside the scope of his duties and conducted without authorization from his direct supervisors, or anyone in the Department of Development or the Mayor’s Office.”
A date has not yet been set for a disciplinary hearing

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