LETTER: Questioning Jenkins' position on health board

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By The Staff

As a taxpayer and health care provider of Shelby County, I am concerned about the abilities and credibility of the current North Central District Health Department Board Chairman. North Central is a multimillion dollar public health entity, funded primarily through our tax dollars, on a local, state and federal level. David Jenkins, the current county judge executive of Spencer County, holds that position.

In the last 16 months, Mr. Jenkins has captured the media spotlight more than once. The first incidence reported June 30, 2009, involved the use of his KACo credit card. The Kentucky Association of Counties is a nonprofit group funded with public monies that lobbies on behalf of Kentucky’s 120 counties and offers member counties insurance and financing services. Mr. Jenkins was president of this organization at the time of the discovery. He originally disputed the charges on his credit card for escort services, strip clubs and gambling services, saying someone else must have used his credit card. In July 2009, the issuing bank reported the charges would not be refunded. On September 9, 2009, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that a sales slip from the Thorobred Lounge I, a strip club in Louisville, includes the signature, driver’s license number, birth date and home address of Spencer County Judge-Executive David Jenkins.

On April 11 of this year, FOX 41 reported Kentucky State Police arrested Spencer County Judge-Executive David Jenkins early Saturday morning on charges of driving under the influence, speeding and driving without insurance.

Jenkins was arrested at 1:41 Saturday morning in Spencer County on KY 155 near Elk Creek in Taylorsville.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Ron Turley said Jenkins was “cooperative” with troopers after he was stopped for speeding. Troopers transported him to the Shelby County jail because Spencer County does not have a detention facility. He was released from jail on his own recognizance.

A motion was made to change the venue to Shelby County for his DUI trial and he graced the back page of the Sentinel News just a couple weeks ago. The article stated Special Prosecutor Bobbi Jo Lewis filed a second motion Friday morning requesting that Jenkins’ bond be revoked on the grounds he violated the terms of his release. The terms stated that Jenkins would not drink alcohol while out on bond from his DUI charge.

The prosecution questioned Jerry Davis, local business owner and county animal control officer, about a recent incident at Evonne’s Sports Cafe where Jenkins was allegedly consuming beer.

“There were empty bottles sitting all over the table, there was beer in front of him and I even saw him hand one (bottle) over to another person. But I didn’t see him put the beer to his lips,” said Davis. “Everybody at that table was drinking and I assume he was too.”

As a retired employee of North Central District Health Department, I can state undoubtedly that Renee Blair, director, would not tolerate even the appearance of these improprieties in the least paid of her employees, let alone a top paid official. Yet, Mr. Jenkins continues to serve as a financial advisor and decision-maker for our public health department. It seems ironic that an organization that is supposed to financially manage health services and protect the health of its citizens may be placed most in jeopardy by its very board director.

I hope all tax paying citizens of this county will ask for our hard-earned money to be watched with moral, ethical eyes. We need to demand more accountability of those we pay to serve and protect us with our money.

Gina Jesse