KACo board says official made strip-club charges

ralessi@herald-leader.comSeptember 9, 2009 

Spencer County Judge-Executive David Jenkins' distinct signature appears on receipts to a Louisville strip club and a Lexington escort service where his Kentucky Association of Counties credit card was used last year.

In addition to his signature, Jenkins' driver's license number, birth date and home address were printed on the sales slip that accompanied the Jan. 8, 2008, receipts for $277 at the Thorobred Lounge I, a strip club in Louisville.

The receipts, which KACo leaders obtained from the vendors and provided Tuesday to the Herald-Leader, contradict Jenkins' repeated denials. Jenkins claimed someone stole his KACo credit card number and used it at two Louisville strip clubs and a Lexington escort service that bills under the name Calypso Enterprises while he was president of the organization, which receives dues from counties paid with public money.

The KACo executive committee, which consists of the five elected officers, received those receipts Thursday as part of the results of an internal investigation.

"We thought it was fairly conclusive that it was his signature on the charges," Michael Foster, president of KACo, said of Jenkins.

Jenkins, who resigned from KACo's executive committee in July, didn't return a call requesting comment Tuesday.

Jenkins has repaid $620 charged on his KACo card to the Thorobred Lounge, the escort agency Campus Cuties — which bills under the name Calypso Enterprises — and another strip club, Godfather II.

Jenkins' KACo credit card statement from February 2008 shows charges to the Godfather II. But the co-owner of that club told the Herald-Leader in July that he doesn't have records from last year.

After the Herald-Leader first reported the strip-club and escort charges in June, Foster asked KACo's outside counsel, Brent Caldwell, to look into who made the charges. Caldwell gave an oral report to the executive committee about his findings about Jenkins charges as well as a $270 charge to the same escort agency that was made on the KACo-issued credit card of executive director Bob Arnold.

Arnold resigned Friday and repaid the $270.

Caldwell, who didn't hire handwriting experts as part of his review, presented the receipts to the executive committee without making any recommendations about the findings. The committee members couldn't determine from the credit card slip from Calypso Enterprises whether it was Arnold who signed for it, Foster said.

"His signature was not as clear, given the fact that this signature varies from time to time," Foster said.

Arnold is blind. His signature is often illegible, or sometimes someone else signs for him.

Arnold's attorney, Jack Smith of Louisville, said Arnold maintains that he didn't make the charge to Campus Cuties.

Foster said Tuesday that he hopes to name a search committee to begin looking for Arnold's replacement within the next week.

Reach Ryan Alessi at (859) 231-1303.

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