Sen. Young defends ties to owner of strip club FBI probe targeted their relationship

June 14, 1996|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF

At a well-attended fund-raiser last night, state Sen. Larry Young defended his relationship with a convicted felon who owns a West Baltimore strip club, an affiliation that was the subject of FBI inquiry this spring into the legislator's activities.

Before a crowd of supporters who packed the Baltimore Brewing Co., a pub on Albemarle Street near the Inner Harbor, Young said he had known Kenneth A. "Kenny Bird" Jackson for two years.

"Ken Jackson is a friend of mine, and I don't give a damn who

knows about it," Young told the crowd as Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke looked on.

"I'm not about to do something stupid," Young said, referring to conduct that could be the subject of a criminal probe.

The FBI inquiry came to light in a lawsuit filed last month by a former Baltimore liquor inspector and one-time Young confidant who is challenging the city's political patronage system.

Marion P. Turner, who was fired last month by the city liquor board at Young's behest, maintains in the lawsuit that she lost her job solely because of political fallout from an FBI agent's telephone call to her asking about Young's legislative activities.

According to the suit, Turner received a telephone call March 8 from an FBI agent asking for "information which would point to any wrongdoing by Senator Young."

After learning of the inquiry, the suit claims, she was fired at Young's request.

The FBI has declined to comment, but people familiar with the inquiry have said it stems from Young's relationship with Jackson, who operates the Eldorado Lounge.

Jackson was once convicted of a felony weapons charge.

Young, who has denied knowing of Jackson's history, wrote a letter to the liquor board last year supporting Jackson's efforts to open a jazz club and restaurant called the Royal Cafe at 410 W. Fayette St.

Pub Date: 6/14/96

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