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Kenoi pleads not guilty to theft charges

  • DARYL LEE / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

    Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi (center) appeared in Circuit Court in Hilo today, flanked by his attorneys Todd Eddins (left) and Richard Sing.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment this afternoon in Circuit Court in Hilo.

Represented by attorneys Todd Eddins and Richard Sing, Kenoi appeared in court dressed in tan pants and a beige aloha shirt. He was accompanied by his wife, Takako.

Kenoi, 47, made no statements during the proceedings before Judge Greg Nakamura.

Eddins told the court Kenoi was pleading not guilty to the charges.

Kenoi’s lawyers requested a jury trial, which was set for 9 a.m. on July 18.

A Hilo grand jury indicted Kenoi last week on eight criminal charges, including two felony theft charges over misuse of his county purchasing card from 2011 to 2015.

The mayor faces two counts of second-degree theft, a Class C felony; two counts of third-degree theft, misdemeanors; and one count of false swearing (making false statement under oath, a petty misdemeanor.

Eddins spoke to reporters outside of court after the proceedings.

“The county of Hawaii is not out one penny. Mayor Kenoi has not enriched himself one penny. Mayor Kenoi has not committed a crime. It’s an over-reach to call him a thief. Mayor Billy Kenoi will fight these flimsy charges all the way,” he said.

Eddins said Kenoi was “feeling good. He’s going about doing what he’s always done…working tireless for the county.”

He said Kenoi’s defense team would be reviewing the grand jury indictment and evidence, but was not ready to comment further on the case.

Eddins said there has been, “no negotiation for a plea deal,” despite reports. He said there have been numerous leaks about the case from the state, but he would not be commenting on leaks.

Comments (51)

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  • What has he been smoking, not quilty. So that means, every other person that stolen money from the State and City is not quilty. If he get off, he will make history.

  • Imua Billy! Imua e nā poki’i a inu i ka wai ‘awa’awa, ‘a’ohe hope e ho’i mai ai!

    Translation: Go forward my young brothers (and sisters) and drink of the bitter waters (of battle), there is no turning back (until victory is secured).

    • Nor was he.
      Misguided, yes. EPA, for example, was one horrendous blunder. Not burning the tapes and not firing Ehrlichman and Haldeman were fatal errors of judgment.
      But he – – unlike the Clintons – – did not steal so much as a penny.
      What he DID do – – which STILL infuriates the lunatic left – – is to win the “splendid little war” that JFK had ignited a decade earlier in Vietnam to take public attention off his serial foreign policy debacles in Cuba (twice), Berlin (wall), Vienna (where Krushchev accurately sized him up as loud mouth punk kid in WAY over his head as a cold warrior), Tibet and Laos.
      Thanks to the forces Nixon commanded – – who undertook operations Pocket Money (the aerial mining of DPRV coastal waterways and harbors) and Linebacker II (B-52 strikes against DPRV targets the gutless JFK and LBJ had declared off limits) – – he was able to dictate the terms of surrender to Le Duc Tho at the Paris talks, who then released our pilots long held as POWs in the infamous Hao Lo (Hanoi Hilton) prison so they could return home in February 1973. It was indeed ‘peace with honor’ and that achievement drove the left bonkers. They plotted to turn Nixon’s victory for America into defeat. First they hounded him from office over a minor burglary (of the kind Democrats commit all the time), then selected a “president” they knew they could slow roll, then worked to cut off all aid we had promised in the Peace Accord to our ally below the 17th parallel. That Democrat Party betrayal of America stands alone in infamy.

      • Are you unhinged. What does this have to do with the fact that a Hawaii elected official used his government issued credit cards for purchases that are clearly inappropriate and by most values immoral.

      • WOW! That is quite an analysis! So you mean that we didn’t bomb enough innocent people in Vietnam? Well that explains everything then. Genius!

        • Not more bombing, but honoring the agreement WE signed in Paris early in 1973 that would have provided the RVN the wherewithal to defend itself against the NVA conventional ground attack two years later.

    • “…working tireless for the county.”

      yeah, tired fo go on chrips, out fo eat, stay ovanite fancy hotel, and chasing away the “buy-me-drinkee” wahines, ha Billy?

    • I’ve seen this guy personally. Todd Eddins is a terrific attorney. We should be happy attorneys like him practice in our community. Our system of justice works only if defendants are able to access capable legal representation. Defense attorneys present the defense’s case and ind zealously defending their clients, they serve as a check against the power of the State. If Mayor Kenoi is found guilty it won’t be because he was not well represented and he could not appeal based on lack of adequate counsel because he had a competent attorney representing him.

  • If someone takes another person’s money but pays it back so that the victim is “not out one penny”, then the thief is not guilty? You are guilty of stealing only if you don’t pay it back? Auwe!

  • “The DEVIL made me do it..!” ..it was just an “Unsecured-Interest-Free-Short-Term-Loan”… Besides, ME and MY FAMILY needed to look good on “THE SLOPES”… ..and, I’m a Member of the Hawaii Bar Association..; thus, I am “ABOVE THE LAW” and ETHICS AND MORALS… My next act as “MAYOR” will be to “CONDEMN” all the underlying Resort Lands in Waikoloa and resell them to my “OFF-SHORE CONSTITUENTS”. “SUCKERS”!

  • The charges were brought by a Grand jury. If they thought otherwise Billy would have been exonerated.

    Grand jury had enough evidence to charge him with second-degree theft, third-degree theft and making false statement under oath.

    Billy wants a jury trial. I hope the same Grand jury members reside as jurors to convict him AGAIN? LOL.

    Billy’s lawyers will probably select jurors that are ‘easily hoodwinked’ to represent their client.

    I hope it doesn’t turn out to be another O.J. trial or presided over by a Judge Ito.

    • I know I’m in the minority but I doubt they’ll ever convict him. He will walk and remain in elective office for a long time. The “trial” will turn out to be a piece of political theater.

      • So you believe that if he’s found to be not guilty (which will happen in this case) then it was “political theater” and not a fair trial? How did you come up with that?

        • Everyone knows he’s guilty, he has already admitted it publicly and asked for forgiveness from big island residents. I agree with you however that he will not be found guilty and won’t spend a day in jail over his Pcard use.
          Our judges are wide open to democratic party retaliation (judicial selection committee) should they rule against those protected by the party in power. Just ask the former Judge that ruled against Kealoha and removed her from the game room prosecution case. He made Kaneshiro and his corrupt deputy Kathrine Kealoha look bad and it costed him his job.

        • saywhatyouthink – Well if “everybody knows he’s guilty”, then why bother with a trial? In fact, why bother with any trials? You seem to be some kind of omniscient genius who thinks he knows everything about fact and law despite knowing absolutely nothing about either. You already have conspiracy theories all figured out for other trials (you, obviously should have been the trial judge there as well) so I agree with you that once you make your decision, the person should be taken right to jail. Who needs the Constitution when we have you?

  • I wish “Corky Trinidad” was still with us…

    “Don’t you love a farce? My fault, I fear
    I thought that you’d want what I want, sorry my dear
    But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns
    Don’t bother they’re here

    Isn’t it rich? Isn’t it queer?
    Losing my timing this late in my career
    But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns
    Well, maybe next year.”

    • Somebody is queer.
      Anyways, Billy the Kid got no shame brah. No shame. At the very least he stole a interest free non-secured loan from the state, and spent it on some very foolish things for all the world to see. You don’t spend thousands in the Korean Bar unless mamasan busy making you a bery bery heppy man in the champagne room. The balls on this guy are beyond huge, bigger than coconuts and as big as watermelon. His brain? The size of one pea. So are the brains of the Big Island dodos who still support this guy. Billy: weed is legal now. Just go back to growing it like you used to and you can go to all the bars you like.

  • The sad thing is he is going to get off. Like previously stated, if he didn’t get caught he would not have paid it back. He knew what he was doing was wrong. But all it takes is a ” reasonable doubt “. And so the political game goes on……..

  • The man standing in the middle is not the Billy I know…………where is Billy the lawyer who spoke at the HPU gradation?….that’s the Billy I know!

    • How did you come up with that? Were you on the grand jury and reviewed the evidence which they found compelling enough to indict him? If not, what do you know that they don’t? The answer, of course, is nothing. Like always.

  • I like Billy and want this to be over with and allow him to move on with his life. he has done amazing things for the HAWAII Nui. much of his good work is not know by the public. He cares about the future of Hawaii island as much as anyone. Ok he made some mistakes so have all of us. Apologies, forgive and move on. The real crooks in Hawaii politics are too sly to get caught. Wish the bestes for Billy and his family.

  • Send this guy to prison like all the other politicians we have in office right now, he got caught with his pants down literally at the massage parlor using the credit card the state gave to him, he was supposedly suppose to use it for big island issues, not for his own pleasure.

  • A lot of heads are going to roll if Kenoi is found guilty as charged. The county council, the county accountants, amd auditors who looked the other way. He is too talented a person to throw out of politics.

  • In accordance to the State of Hawaii Purchasing Card Program and Procedures, the mayor is guilty as charge. It’s not about the enormous amount of purchase he made but he definitely abused the program’s procedures. As stated, “the cardholder is subject to disciplinary action if the Pcard is used for personal or unauthorized purchases, period. Two wrongs doesn’t make it right. The PVS Net Administrator did not ensure that the Pcard was being used properly in accordance with the Purchasing Card Program and Procedures and the mayor was just as wrong and both were probably in cahoots. Both PVS Net Administrator and mayor should be held accountable for the miss use of the Pcard. Only an idiot would plead not guilty when his purchases will be used as evidence in court, especially by jurors. Give up already…he’s just digging his grave deeper.

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