HILO, Hawaii – Celebrity chef Sam Choy took the witness stand today during the ongoing criminal trial of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi.
Choy spent most his time on the stand talking about poke, and complimented Mayor Kenoi for his role in the March 2013 Poke Contest in Keauhou.
The State of Hawaii alleges the Hawaii County mayor stole public funds when he used his government-issued purchase card for personal expenses. Kenoi’s purchase of liquor at a nearby Longs at the time of the poke festival is at the center of one of the five remaining criminal charges against the mayor.
Kenoi described the $125.95 purchase at the time of the Poke contest as being for “Sam Choy’s Poke Contest volunteer appreciation event”. The state noted, however, that records show the purchase occurred after the event ended.