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Big Isle councilwoman finds no support to discuss Kenoi’s fate

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STAR-ADVERTISER

Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille tried and failed to open a discussion about whether the council should ask Kenoi to step down pending the outcome of an ethics complaint.

A move to force embattled Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi Jr. to step down failed in the County Council, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald.

A motion by Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille to have a discussion about whether the council should ask Kenoi to step down pending the outcome of an ethics complaint was not seconded, ending the conversation before it could start.

It was the second time Wille failed to force the council to take action against Kenoi for his admitted misuse of his county purchasing card, or pCard, which resulted in an indictment of felony theft and other charges. His trial is scheduled for July 18, the newspapers reported.

West Hawaii Today initially reported that in April 2015 that Kenoi used his pCard to a $892 tab at a Honolulu hostess bar in December 2013.

Wille, who’s been one of Kenoi’s critics, had her pCard revoked as well, over charges of about $1,000, the Hilo newspaper said.

She said her charges were county business expenses rather than personal charges. Officials said Wille also was slow in submitting paperwork.

The mayor reimbursed the county for the bar expense, which occurred despite county prohibitions on using the card for personal expenses and restrictions on alcohol, four months after the charge occurred.

In total, Kenoi reimbursed the county for $31,112.59 in pCard charges, including about $9,500 after his card was revoked.

26 responses to “Big Isle councilwoman finds no support to discuss Kenoi’s fate”

  1. kiragirl says:

    Premature. Wait till after the trial.

  2. Tahitigirl55 says:

    Even if he reimbursed the county that is still stealing and misuse of a C & C P-card that is to be used for county use only not personal use. Why are they protecting this jerk? No wonder he thinks he is the greatest. I bet he will not be charged for any misuse. If that happens then the people who work for the State of Hawaii that got fired and had to pay back stealing of monies from the State, should get their jobs back. What is good for one is good for the other. Is Billy at retirement age?

    • control says:

      Not a matter of protecting Billy. Did the county give instructions on how the pcard was to be used? Did Billy sign an affidavit saying that he understood about the use of the pcard? As we see in the article Margaret Wille also had her pcard revoked so maybe the problem is about proper use and instructions on pcard. Also understand that there have been other incidents with government workers abusing their pcard privileges and usually those have been taken care of without getting police or the media involved (and the person paying it all back). In this incident it was because of his position that this was a big issue. Other people fired and charged with theft took hundreds of thousands of dollars and were unable to pay back what they stole, Billy paid his bill off.

      We don’t want him to follow other thieves who end up paying only $200 a month after stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars, their “repayment” won’t even cover the interest (even at current low rates) on the amount they took.

  3. browniegirl says:

    Good that he reimbursed the County $31K. His tab was for $100K. As far as keeping him on the payroll, today’s paper also has a story about an HPD officer put on UNpaid administrative leave while they sort out the charges for prostitution & prostitution. I don’t see anyone rushing to keep him on the job. We ALL loved Billy. He still made bad choices.

    • HAWAII_BOY_008 says:

      where did billy get $31,000 in cash? From under his bed? Or did he get help? That is the story behind the story…someone needs to dig…

      • MANDA says:

        Yeah, someone who can’t afford his own bar dues (hostess or attorney) doesn’t have the money in savings. Donation! By whom is the question.

        • Tita Girl says:

          Of course he could afford his bar tab. He probably just didn’t want wifey to question him.

    • control says:

      Yes it was a bad move by Billy to use his pcard for his personal expenses but they will have a hard time trying to convict him of theft since he paid it all back. As for the $100k bill, the problem is with the bar, the bar will usually pad the bill with lots of bogus charges, thinking the customer will just pay it all. Fortunately the customers can discuss the bill and bring it down to a more realistic amount. I have seen similar incidents at bars where they add on so much bogus charges that the customer has to go back to his charge card company and contest the bogus charges.

      • Happy_024 says:

        Wrong! If a person goes rob a bank of say $10,000, get caught by police but paid it all back, he/she would still be charged for robbery and if convicted goes to federal prison. Paying back when caught does not take away the crime.

        • browniegirl says:

          Exactly. Paying the money back AFTER you’re caught doesn’t UNDO the original crime. It’s called restitution, and is part of the penalty for committing the original offense.

        • control says:

          Good luck trying to find a jury that will convict Kenoi. He didn’t rob a bank, he abused his pcard privileges. You may relate what Billy did to a bank robber but most of us don’t see it that way.

  4. lespark says:

    On the Big Island where everybody knows each other good luck on finding an impartial jury. More like a partial jury for acquittal.

  5. Tita Girl says:

    Margaret Wille, since you live in a glass hale, better not to toss any stones.

    • control says:

      I agree Tita girl, maybe Margaret Wille should set an example and step down because of her pcard abuse. Wille can claim that her pcard revocation was about being slow in submitting paperwork but if that were the case she could have quickly submitted all the paperwork and not have her pcard revoked. I think her revocation was caused by more than slow paperwork.

  6. Cellodad says:

    The question is why did he think it was “his” money? If you want a hand-job at a Korean bar, shouldn’t that be something that one pays for himself. If you wand to be an example for Hawaiian children, shouldn’t you forgot that stuff altogether?

    • Cellodad says:

      strange comment extension on WP. I could have sworn I wrote “want.”

    • control says:

      Who are you to judge someone just because he goes to bars to get his jollies? Truth be told many politicians frequent these bars and spend money there. I’ve also seen celebrities go to the private rooms in bars. Just about all the major politicians have gone to these bars, many governors also. As for “his” money, yeah, that wasn’t very bright of him to use company card for personal expenses but that is the problem when you give someone a card without making sure he fully understands what the card is to be used for. Bad decision by Billy and it probably ends any political aspirations he may have had so he will be paying for his bad judgment.

  7. fiveo says:

    The code of omertà seems to hang heavy on the Big Island County council or it is the the three monkey philosophy, you know, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil or
    as all on the counci may be guilty of their own peccadilloes, they elect not to throw stones at Mayor Kenoi.
    No matter the reason I guess. It just goes to show that they all need to be replaced come election time as they are not the kind of leaders the Big Island needs.

    • control says:

      And you really think we can find “honest” politicians to lead us? The problem is that the honest smart people have better paying jobs and wouldn’t want to be a politician or take a lower paying job with all the hassles that go with it.

  8. Kalaheo1 says:

    Whether or not Mayor Kenoi is guilty or innocent, surely the Star Advertiser has a photo of him where he doesn’t look like he’s getting a prostate exam.

  9. pollocoyoco says:

    How come we don’t know Ms. Wille’s expenses? Isn’t she supposed to be an attorney too?

  10. ehowzit says:

    DID ANYONE FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH WAS SPENT AT EACH INDIVIDUAL VISIT, AND WHAT THE DURATION OF THAT VISIT WAS? MY FRIEND AND I USED TO FREQUENT THAT BAR (HE WAS THE BIG SPENDER BY FAR), AND WE USED TO SPEND ABOUT LESS THAT 2 HOURS THERE, BUT NO WAY DID HE EVER SPEND MORE THAN $100-$120 THERE.

    • control says:

      Actually most “celebrities” go to the VIP rooms, unlike your friend they don’t stay out in the open for everyone to see, they go into hiding in the VIP room. I haven’t gone into the VIP rooms in many years but I think people probably pay at least $300 on up to go to the rooms. This doesn’t include separate amounts for services provided in the room and also add on fees for the waiters (and tip) to bring in the stuff and also doesn’t include the numerous bottles of liquor that they drank so it can easily cost over a grand for them. Kenoi wasn’t arrested because of his bar tabs it was because of his other personal expenses. The news media is trying to sensationalize his arrest by showing his expenses at bars.

  11. NahokuIIwebguy says:

    It’s simply amazing to see the feeble minded morons here who actually think that this common criminal had NO IDEA that a PCard, for Gov’t Expenses, was good to go for close to $900 at the Booby Bar, or for $30,000 in other personal expenses.

    If he’s that stupid & ignorant, that fact alone should get him kicked out of office. He needs to leave office & do some jail time too for good measure. Man, Hawaiian criminals are just as bad, if not worse, than on the Mainland. No accidents here, he’s guilty. Do the crime, do the time.

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