From the Star/Advertiser: Oct 25, 2016
Hawaii island Mayor Billy Kenoi took the stand in his own defense this morningand teared up as he talked about his humble upbringing in Kalapana, where his family had little resources and were embarrased that friends had to use an outhouse.
He faces five criminal charges over misuse of his government purchasing card. Del Rosario dismissed three counts of tampering with government records Monday due to insufficient evidence.
In all, Kenoi had faced eight counts related to 15 transactions that he charged to his county-issued pCard, or purchasing card, from 2011 to 2014.
The remaining charges include four counts of theft — two of them second-degree felonies and two third-degree — and one count of false swearing or making a false statement under oath.
Kenoi has acknowledged paying the county back $31,000 in unauthorized personal expenses charged on the pCard. Kenoi charged a total of about $129,000 on his pCard, including alcohol purchases.
Mayor Kenoi, we came from the same area…and I too, grew up in a village using outhouses and let me tell you something…out-houses do not cause a total lack of character, does not develop arrogance, and outhouses are not to be blamed for one’s misdoings. Let’s do a reality check and leave the past out of this. What are we teaching our youngsters? That something or someone is to take blame for our own acts? Something smells here and it’s not the outhouse.
Remember: The buck stops here?
I take full responsibility…?