A federal grand jury hands down an indictment against Union County Judge Executive Jody Jenkins on charges of fraud and public corruption. The indictment claims in 2014 Jenkins took $20,000 in kickbacks in exchange for purchasing heavy equipment and other items from an unnamed person.
The indictment only identifies that person J.h., but Jenkins has been linked to stolen heavy equipment such as backhoes that ended up as the property of Union County.
At least three other people have pleaded guilty in that case, including Jason Habermel, Thomas Elpers, and Jordan Wedel. No word yet on what will happen to Jenkins’ position as judge executive.
Presented below is the official release of the indictment:
JOSEPH L. JENKINS
18 U.S.C. § 1343
18 U.S.C. § 1346
The Grand Jury charges:
(Scheme and Artifice to Defraud the Citizens of Union County Of Their Right to Honest Services)
Beginning on or about January 23, 2014, and continuing through on or about December 31, 2014, in the Western District of Kentucky, Union County, Kentucky, and elsewhere, the defendant, JOSEPH L. JENKINS a/k/a JODY JENKINS (hereafter “JENKINS” or “JODY JENKINS”) , and others known to the grand jury, devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and deprive the citizens of Union County, Kentucky, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky of their right to the honest and faithful services of the defendant, JENKINS, an elected official, who served as the Judge/Executive of Union County, through kickbacks and the concealment of material information.
Purpose of the Scheme
The purpose of the scheme and artifice was for the defendant, JODY JENKINS, to secretly use his official position to enrich himself by soliciting and accepting gifts, payments, and other things of value from J.H., a person known to the grand jury, in exchange for favorable. Official action, and for J.H. to enrich himself by secretly obtaining favorable official action for himself and his clients through corrupt means.
Manner and Means
The scheme and artifice was carried out in the following manner and means, among others:
The defendant, JODY JENKINS, in his official position as Union County Judge/Executive, solicited and accepted cash payments of approximately $20,000 from J.H.
The defendant, JODY JENKINS, in his official position as Union County Judge/ Executive provided favorable official action on behalf of J.H., including arranging for the purchase of various items of heavy equipment, at below market value, to be paid for by the Union County Fiscal Court, using taxpayer funds.
The defendant, JODY JENKINS, took steps to hide, conceal, and cover up his activity and the nature and scope of his dealings with J.H., including directing that false and fraudulent invoices, in amounts under $20,000, be submitted by J.H. for payment by the Union County Fiscal Court for the purchase of the equipment.
Execution of the Scheme
On or about the dates listed below, in the Western District of Kentucky, Union County, Kentucky, and elsewhere, the defendant, JODY JENKINS, for the purpose of executing the above-described scheme and artifice to defraud and deprive the citizens of Union County, Kentucky, of their right to honest services, transmitted and caused to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate or foreign commerce, the following writings, signals, and sounds:
Count Date Wire Transmission
3/26/2014 Text messages between JENKINS and J.H. regarding Case excavator
5/2/2014 Text messages between JENKINS and J.H. regarding Caterpillar tooth bucket
6/10/2014 Text messages between JENKINS and J.H. regarding Takeuchi skid steer
7/9/2014 Text messages between JENKINS and J.H. regarding Vermeer mini skid steer