Former Highland Heights police chief pleads guilty to wire fraud, identity theft

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Former Highland Heights Police Chief Carl Mullen, 49, pleaded guilty to two felony counts Friday morning in federal court.

The 1981 Covington Catholic High School graduate admitted to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He took $127,390 from Highland Heights police between January 2010 and November of 2011 by using credit cards issued to departmental employees.

Mullen not only used these credit cards improperly but he falsely certified each month that the cash withdrawals were for legitimate police expenses.

He faces the maximum sentence of 22 years behind bars with a fine of $250,000 for each count, including restitution.

According to the seven-page written plea agreement, he will not be able to appeal the conviction, or the sentencing, which is set for Monday, Dec. 17, 2012.

When the judge asked if Mullen agreed to the charges, Mullen said, "I abused credit cards intrusted to me… and I am extremely remorseful for that."

Mullen testified to receiving counseling because of recent deaths in his family, and for the legal action being undertaken against him.

In February, Highland Heights Mayor Gregory Meyers asked the FBI to investigate an accounting discrepancy in the budget of the Highland Heights-Southgate Police Authority, which prompted the investigation and arrest of Mullen.

Meyers released this statement following the guilty plea:

The people of Highland Heights are thankful for closure to what has been an unfortunate and difficult situation for our city. It is upsetting when a law enforcement official abuses and disregards the public trust. But thankfully we alerted the FBI early this year following the discovery of what appeared to be an accounting discrepancy in the budget of the Highland Heights-Southgate Police Authority, and ultimately justice was served.

We wish to thank the FBI for its professional and diligent work investigating this matter and the U.S. Attorney's office for its successful prosecution of the former chief of the joint police authority. City officials will have no further comment on this matter.

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