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Spencer County Judge Executive David Jenkins said it doesn’t matter if a Kentucky Association of Counties investigation determined that his signature was on credit card receipts to a strip club and an escort service.
“That’s KACo,” said Jenkins Thursday morning. “This has nothing to do with Spencer County.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Sept. 5 that Jenkins’ “distinct signature” was found on credit card receipts from Thorobred Lounge I and Calypso Enterprises, also known as Campus Cuties. The charges to the Louisville strip club and a Lexington escort service were made on Jenkins’ KACo credit card while serving as president of the organization in 2008.
“We thought it was fairly conclusive that it was his signature on the charges,” KACo President Mike Foster was quoted as saying in the Lexington paper.
Initial reports in June revealed that while president of the organization, Jenkins racked up a total of $17,887.26 in expenses for meals, travel and miscellaneous charges – primarily for the purpose of entertaining elected officials and representatives from hospitals, colleges, health departments and insurance companies. Included in that amount was $620 spent at two gentlemen’s clubs and the escort service.
Jenkins has maintained since the beginning that he did not make the charges and surmised that the number on his credit card must have been stolen. In a Spencer Magnet story dated July 1, Jenkins said that he had “not even stepped foot” into either strip club in more than 10 years – and only did so then because he was working as a limousine driver.
On Thursday, Jenkins altered his word choice slightly when he said, “I do not remember using them at any of those places.”
Brent Caldwell, KACo’s outside counsel, obtained the receipts from Thorobred Lounge I and Calypso Enterprises with Jenkins’ signature. Along with Jenkins’ signature on the $277 receipt to Thorobred was printed information, including Jenkins’ driver license number, birth date and home address.
The owner of Godfather II, the second strip club, said that he does not have records from 2008.
Jenkins said he has not been shown the receipts obtained during the internal investigation, nor has been contacted by Foster or anyone at KACo in reference to the findings.
“Irregardless, all the funds have been paid back,” said Jenkins.
In the Sept. 5 edition of the Lexington paper it was stated that, “Jenkins resigned from KACo’s executive committee in July after KACo launched an internal investigation into the charges.”
Jenkins said that is simply not true.
After a quick scan of his checkbook, Jenkins confirmed that he refunded KACo $620 on July 20. Two days later, he resigned from his position on the executive board.
“I resigned and paid the money back before I knew Brent Caldwell was doing an investigation,” said Jenkins.
Throughout the summer, Spencer County’s judge executive stressed that the thousands of dollars he spent while president of KACo has nothing to do with his spending practices with county taxpayers’ money. They are “two separate issues,” said Jenkins.
Despite Jenkins’ statements, some magistrates started their own informal investigation of the county’s financial records by requesting credit card records for the last five years. The only charges questioned were when Jenkins and fiscal court members booked hotel rooms in nearby Louisville for conferences.
Magistrates are not the only ones looking into the county’s spending habits. A second investigation is being carried out by Kentucky Auditor Crit Luellen. Representatives from the state auditor’s office retrieved credit card statements and cell phone bills in August. The collection of billing records is part of a larger investigation into the spending of KACo’s executive board in recent years.
Terry Sebastian, director of communications, said Friday that the auditor’s office is still in the process of an audit and will not be commenting until the investigation is complete.
In response to rumors that he will not be seeking re-election, Jenkins said that he has not made that decision.