Special Reports

KACo scandal, as it unfolded

State Auditor Crit Luallen
State Auditor Crit Luallen

June 28

The Herald-Leader finds that the top five officials of the Kentucky Association of Counties spent $600,000 on travel and other expenses in two years. In addition to those expenses, KACo's 2008 president, Spencer County Judge-Executive David Jenkins, pictured above, spent nearly $20,000 during his one-year term. Among KACo's expenses were two $7,000 dinners, hotel rooms costing $450 a night, charges to two Louisville strip clubs and $445 spent with a Lexington escort service.

July 1

The Herald-Leader reveals that an insurance policy the counties buy with taxpayer money through KACo pays the legal bills of elected officials accused of crimes against taxpayers. Since 2001, the group has paid more than $300,000 for the criminal defense of five elected county officials accused of crimes related to their jobs.

July 1

State Auditor Crit Luallen, pictured at left, announces her office will investigate KACo and the Kentucky League of Cities, where top executives spent more than $300,000 in three years. Luallen says that "excessive spending" and "inadequate oversight" prompted the move.

July 7

The Kentucky Department of Insurance confirms that it will examine operations at KACo's insurance program.

July 16

KACo Executive Director Bob Arnold tells several hundred local officials at a meeting that any mistakes made were "unintentional" and the group needs to "get over it." He receives a standing ovation at the summer conference of the Kentucky County Judge-Executive Association and the Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners Association.

July 22

Spencer County Judge Executive David Jenkins, the group's president in 2008, resigns from the KACo executive committee in light of questions about charges to two strip clubs and a Lexington escort service that appeared on his KACo-issued credit card. Arnold's card also had a charge to an escort service. Both men denied making the charges.

July 23

KACo board president J. Michael Foster takes away all credit cards issues to KACo staff members, and proposes new financial oversight, including the formation of an auditing committee.

Aug. 16

The Herald-Leader details a string of employee firings ordered by Arnold, which led to lawsuits that cost the group nearly $2 million.

Aug. 25

Kentucky League of Cities Executive Director Sylvia Lovely steps down, saying she wishes to take responsibility for a loss of credibility. Arnold denies he is under similar pressure or that he will follow suit.

Aug. 26

Lawmakers grill KLC and KACo officials over the spending scandals at both groups. After the hearing, Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, calls for Arnold to resign.

Sept. 4

Arnold resigns.