EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

November 14, 2012

Socialite's climb halted by unfolding scandal

(Continued)

The Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday that as late as February 2010, Jill Kelley was soliciting contributions in the foundation’s name to fund a dinner for the homeless. The paper cited an email in which she asked prospective donors for “‘in kind’ donations (i.e. more food, drinks, banners, decorations)” and noted that the charity was a “tax write-off.”

As the Pentagon looks into up to 30,000 pages of emails and other documents — some characterized as “inappropriate communications” — between Jill Kelley and Allen, MacDill’s commander on Tuesday revoked her access pass.

Kelley was issued the pass, one of about 800 handed out under a program to promote interaction with the civilian population, in November 2010, according to a military source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to comment on the situation. It was renewed this past February.

Several months ago, Jill Kelley was appointed an honorary local consul for South Korea, said Kristen Smith, executive assistant at the South Korean consulate in Atlanta, which also covers Florida. The license plate on Kelley’s silver Mercedes-Benz reads, “Honorary Consul 1JK.”

Smith was not authorized to say anything more about Kelley’s activities on that country’s behalf, although she confirmed that Kelley still maintained her position. When Kelley called police Tuesday to complain of reporters staking out her home, she cited her honorary position and requested “diplomatic protection.”

During last year’s FBI citizens academy, which Kelley attended, Natalie Shepherd, a reporter with Channel 8 in Tampa, was one of two media representatives also invited. Among the 30 people on the list was the head of the host committee for the Republican National Convention, a vice president of security for Walt Disney Corp., and the Hillsborough County tax collector.

“She’s the only person on the list who’s just listed as her name,” said Shepherd.

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