Former Covington finance director pleads guilty to stealing $700,000 in city funds

COVINGTON, Ky. – An ex-Covington finance director pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing more than $700,000 from the city where he lived and worked.

Robert Due originally pleaded not guilty to 15 counts against him in December but changed his plea to guilty during his court appearance Thursday. It's his 64th birthday.

The indictment accuses Due of official misconduct, theft, unlawful access to a computer and possession of a forged instrument.

He faces 15 years in prison. He will be sentenced April 17.

"Whatever the judge's sentence is, (Due) would like to serve that and get on with his life and began to try to repay the city of Covington," said defense attorney Tim Schneider.

Covington has sued Due to try to recover the lost funds.

Investigators went through 11 years of financial records before indicting Due. He held the job for 14 years before the the city forced him out as finance director in August.

Due was arrested in September.

RELATED: Covington picks new finance director four months after ousting of Robert Due
MORE: Ex-Covington finance director Robert Due attempts suicide

Due is accused of depositing the stolen money in the accounts of his wife, children and his late aunt.

While it's still unclear exactly what he did with they money, his attorney shed some light on the matter Thursday, saying the money he took over the years went towards his general "cost of living."

"It went towards supplementing his life and the cost of living and it really nothing that was outstanding or exciting," Schneider said.

Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders said it appears that Due used the embezzled funds to cover everyday expenses.

"A lot of the money went to pay average, run-of-the-mill expenses that many people people out here have," he said. "He wasn't driving fancy sports cars or buying homes in the Bahamas or anything like that."

In addition to not making lavish purchases, Due doesn't appear to have any expensive vices that would explain why he needed to take the funds or explain where it was spent, Sanders said.

"Mr. Due has denied a gambling problem, has denied a drug problem, denied any other sort of addictions that might account for where this money went," he said. "So, the long story short is, no he hasn't explained to us where all the cash went."

He was originally under house arrest, but tried to kill himself twice since then. Due is now being held in the Kenton County jail.

The Kentucky state auditor is also investigating this case.

WCPO reporter Jay Warren contributed to this report.

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