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Audit finds misuse of Hawaii County credit cards not common

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    Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi meets with the media at the Capitol rotunda in Hono­lulu to talk about an ethics complaint concerning his use of county credit cards for personal expenses.

HILO >> An audit of the Hawaii County government found that misuse of county credit cards is not widespread, but confined to Mayor Billy Kenoi’s office and one other department.

West Hawaii Today reports that Legislative Auditor Bonnie Nims said in a report Friday that she found 64 transactions totaling $29,961 that did not follow policy, had a questionable purpose and may have violated laws.

The audit found that Kenoi’s record keeping was inconsistent, with many purchases going without receipts of explanations.

It appears that the mayor’s office was not always held to the same requirements as other departments,” the audit said.

“In general the Finance Department and the county are doing an exceptional job managing their pCard use,” Nims said.

Kenoi has admitted to using the card for big bar tabs and surfboards. He has paid back more than $31,000 of the almost $130,000 he charged during his tenure.

Recommendations in the audit point out changes that could prevent “any further intentional or unintentional misuse” so that it “can be deterred or detected timely,” Nims said.

County Managing Director Wally Lau says the administration will follow the rules, although they do not agree with all of the assertions the audit made.

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