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MAYOR WILLIAM P. KENOI NOT GUILTY

Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that a Hawaii Island jury has acquitted Hawaii County Mayor William P. Kenoi of all charges filed against him. Mayor Kenoi’s trial ended on Monday, October 31.

billy-kenoiThe jury deliberated for one day before rendering its verdict.

Attorney General Chin said “The crime of theft requires proof a person intended to permanently deprive his victim of what he stole. The prosecution argued that not paying back funds to the county of Hawaii until after the press caught him was proof of Mayor Kenoi’s intent. We respect the verdict and thank the jurors for their service.”

On March 23, 2016, a Hawaii Island grand jury indicted Mayor Kenoi for two counts of felony theft, two additional counts of misdemeanor theft, three counts of tampering with a government record and one count of false swearing. The charges arose from alleged conduct taking place from 2011 through 2015 while Mayor Kenoi was in office. During trial, after the prosecution rested its case, the court dismissed three of the misdemeanor counts for tampering with a government record based on insufficient evidence.

Kenoi Trial – “This puritanical, prudish, prissy fixation on alcohol… Are we in the twenties?”

I’ve attended the Mayor Kenoi Trial for a few days and feel I have a good grip on things.

Today, both the prosecutor and defense had one hour to make their final statements in the case.

kenoi-trialTo me the one personal statement that stood out to me most was the following statement regarding the use of alcohol to possibly bring in federal monies to the Big Island.

“This puritanical, prudish, prissy fixation on alcohol… Are we in the twenties? Is this prohibition?” asked defense attorney Todd Eddins during his final summation. “Are we in modern-day Saudi Arabia? The mayor of this county can expend money on alcohol.”

You can view the closing argument here:

VIDEO: Closing Arguments In Kenoi Trial, Jury Deliberates

Judge Dismisses Records Tampering Counts Against Mayor Kenoi, Felony Theft Counts Remain

State circuit court judge Dexter D. Del Rosario dismissed today three of eight counts against Hawaii County Mayor William P. Kenoi based upon insufficient evidence after the State of Hawaii rested its case.

Mayor Kenoi in court during a recess.

Mayor Kenoi in court during a recess.

The three counts were for tampering with a government record; each was a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

On March 23, 2016, a Hawaii Island grand jury indicted Mayor Kenoi for two counts of felony theft, two additional counts of misdemeanor theft, and one count of false swearing, in addition to the three counts dismissed today. The charges arose from alleged conduct taking place from 2011 through 2015. Mayor Kenoi is presumed innocent of the remaining five counts unless and until a trial jury finds him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvahlo was one of the witnesses called to the stand today by the defense.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvahlo was one of the witnesses called to the stand today by the defense.

Closing arguments and the conclusion of the trial are expected to occur on October 31.