Close colleagues weigh in after Hawaii mayor hit with criminal charges

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The mood on the Big Island on Wednesday is one of shock and sadness.

Those who worked with Mayor Billy Kenoi are trying to understand how it all came to this.

“It’s a sad day, very sad day and we need to earn respect of the residents here and be an example,” said Hawaii County Council Margaret Willie.

Mayor Kenoi faces an uncertain future.

“In his 40s, lawyer, charismatic, terrific speaker, it was up to him wherever he wanted to go,” said former Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim.

Kim once worked with Kenoi.

“This man has a great future for himself and he will be good for us. And from that you go here obviously there is sadness. In regards to the indictment I have to say there are people saying it’s about time, because it’s been a longtime and they are relieved it’s over with up until this point,” added Kim.

Kenoi is serving his second term as Hawaii island mayor. He is not able to run for the office again this year.

“Right now it is with the courts so it will go through due process and at the end of the day the court will decide,” said former Hawaii County managing director Wally Lau.

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