HILO, Hawaii — In a story Sept. 17 about Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, The Associated Press erroneously reported the trial date. His trial is scheduled to start Oct. 10, not Oct. 19.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Judge decides against dismissing theft case against mayor
A theft case against Hawaii County’s mayor will move forward after a judge denied motions to dismiss
HILO, Hawaii — A theft case against Hawaii County’s mayor will move forward after a judge denied motions to dismiss the case before its October trial date.
Attorneys for Billy Kenoi argued that prosecutors leaked information and that their client was denied due process.
Judge Dexter Del Rosario’s decision Friday means the Oct. 10 trial date stands.
Kenoi is charged with theft, tampering with public records and making a false statement under oath related to purchases made with his county credit card.
He has acknowledged using the card for some personal purchases. One such expense covered a bar tab that was nearly $900.
Kenoi has returned slightly more than $31,000 to the county.
Deputy Attorney General Kevin Takata plans to present testimony at trial regarding Kenoi’s personal finances.
“The lack of available funds to pay for personal purchases was an explanation of why the county pCard was used,” Takata said.
Defense attorney Todd Eddins argued that Kenoi would not have donated thousands to the Hawaii Island United Way if he couldn’t have afforded it.
“Their position is, ‘This guy’s got a debt, but he’s got no money to pay it,'” Eddins said. “Then why is he foregoing $22,848 and giving it to Hawaii Island United Way? And that’s our point.”