East Hawaii News

Ethics Board Defers Kenoi Ethics Petition

May 13, 2015, 2:27 PM HST
* Updated May 13, 2:28 PM
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The Board of Ethics has unanimously decided to defer action on a petition targeting Mayor Billy Kenoi, who has been under fire recently for the misuse of his county issued “p-card.”

On Wednesday, the ethics board responded to Petition No. 2015-03, filed by Lanric Hyland, a Kapa’au resident who alleges that Mayor Kenoi used his p-card “as a special privilege to obtain goods and services: from various merchants and vendors, which is a ‘conflict of interest in serious breach of the highest standards of conduct.’” In the petition, violations of Section 14-1, 14-2, and 14-4; Enactment and Policy, Standards, and Code of Ethics respectively are named.

Board member Douglas Adams submitted the amendment to a motion to defer action in the matter while the ethics board waits for the State Attorney General’s office to complete its investigation. In the meantime, however, the board will be able to ask for any information needed to do its research on the topic.

“We may not even know if there is an outcome,” said Adams. “If nothing happens, we may not know that, so I think we should defer it, but I also think we should move forward with an investigation and request that the County departments send us whatever they sent the Attorney General and the Mayor as well, and that we at least have it ourselves at this point.”

Mayor Kenoi was present at the meeting, held at the Hawai’i County Council Building in Hilo. He was represented by one of his three Honolulu criminal defense attorneys, Attorney Howard Luke.

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