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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Union County’s Judge/Executive Charged With Scheming To Defraud The Citizens Of Union County Of Their Right To Honest Services

Joseph “Jody” Jenkins allegedly used his elected office to take kick-backs for arranging purchases with taxpayer funds


BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The current Union County Judge/Executive was charged today by grand jury indictment with scheming to defraud the citizens of Union County of their right to honest services announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.


Joseph L. Jenkins a/k/a Jody Jenkins, 44 of Union County, Kentucky, is charged with secretly using 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.


According to the indictment, between March and July of 2014, Jenkins, in his official position as Union County Judge/Executive, solicited and accepted cash payments of approximately $20,000 from J.H., and in return, Jenkins 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.


Further, Jenkins allegedly 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.


If convicted at trial, Jenkins could be sentenced to no less than 20 years in prison for each count, fined $1,000,000 and serve a three-year period of supervised release.


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marisa Ford and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with assistance from the Evansville, Indiana, Police Department.


The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty


Public Corruption
Updated September 13, 2017