Mayor Kenoi could face more trouble over ethics violation complaint

Local News

Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi could face more trouble over ethics violations.

The complaint had been on hold while the criminal investigation was ongoing.

Kapaau resident Lanric Hyland filed the initial complaint last year and wants the ethics board to force the mayor out of office for the alleged misuse of his pCard.

The board held off on taking any action because it wanted to see what would happen with the attorney general’s investigation, and from that came eight criminal charges, including two counts of second degree theft, which are felony charges.

Ken Goodenow, the vice-chairman of the ethics board, said if they decide to move forward, the board would then have to do its own investigation, and then send its findings to the county council.

But even then, the council does not have the authority to remove the mayor from office. “They could come out with a draft petition,” Goodenow said, “but it would still need to be signed by two percent of the registered voters, and then a circuit court judge would have an impeachment trial.”

With only eight months left in Mayor Kenoi’s term, Goodenow thinks it’s not likely that this could all be done before his term runs out.

The Hawaii County ethics board plans to take up the matter at its next meeting on May 10.

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