HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Attorney General of the State of Hawaii will investigate Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi's use of a county-issued credit card, state officials said Tuesday.
Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth requested the investigation in light of recent reports surrounding expenditures on his purchasing card, Attorney General Mitch Roth said.
“In discussions with the county prosecutor and Hawai?i County Police Chief Kubojiri, we have concluded an independent investigation may guard against an appearance of conflict under these circumstances,” said Chin. “I appreciate Prosecutor Roth and Chief Kubojiri for their cooperation and support of the law enforcement community.”
Kenoi came under fire earlier this month after it was reported that he had paid a nearly $900 tab at a Honolulu hostess bar with his Hawaii County PCard. Subsequent investigations discovered further purchases with the card that many called inappropriate, including at least one visit to similar hostess establishment.
Kenoi has since apologized for the purchases, saying he has repaid more than $26,000 dollars for a variety of personal expenses. At the time, Kenoi said that he did not own a personal credit card.
On April 2, 2015, Kenoi told Hawaii News Now that his use of the card didn't warrant a criminal investigation because there was never any intent to have taxpayers pay for his spending.
The Attorney General says Kenoi has not been charged with a crime, but facts learned during the course of the investigation will determine whether the attorney general's office pursues or recommends criminal charges.