'Inappropriate': Tourism director calls out Boyle County magistrate for comments on her legs

DANVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jennifer Kirchner went to a Boyle County Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday to discuss a hotel tax, but a comment about her legs has led to wide criticism toward one of the magistrates.

Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jennifer Kirchner went to a Boyle County Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday to discuss a hotel tax, but a comment about her legs has led to wide criticism toward one of the magistrates. (WKYT)

The conversation started in the background, but it eventually continued onto the floor when Magistrate Phil Sammons repeated a comment he made to Danville Mayor Mike Perros.

"If he had legs like that, he wouldn't have to wear socks," Sammons said during Tuesday's meeting.

"What struck me was how easy and commonplace and ha-ha-rah-rah that all just came out and unfolded," Kirchner told WKYT one day after the comment. She said she knows she isn't the only one to face these kinds of comments either.

"It's a work environment for me. They are my superiors. It was just a blatant disregard for my dignity," Kirchner said.

She would publicly criticize Sammons' comments during the meeting as well.

"I'm a professional woman up here talking about tax rates -- not to be objectified about my legs," Kirchner said as some laughter followed. "I'm not joking."

Judge-Executive Howard Hunt III made a public announcement on Wednesday to admonish Sammons' comments.

"Our citizens will not, and should not, accept anything less than for every individual to be treated with the respect and consideration they deserve," Hunt said.

Kirchner said she believes diversity training is an important first step to correcting behavior, but she said it must go further.

"We're better than this here, and we need to treat each other better," Kirchner said.

In a letter to the editor of the Danville Advocate-Messenger, Mayor Perros said he "failed as a role model" during the Fiscal Court meeting.

Kirchner said she has since talked to Sammons, but Sammons has yet to respond to WKYT's request for comment.



 
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