COVINGTON – In light of allegations that Covington's city finance director misappropriated over $300,000 in funds, city leaders announced Monday immediate actions they will take to deal with any potential fallout from the incident.
Robert J. Due was arraigned in Kenton County court Monday, the same say city leaders released their three-point plan.
The action plan includes retaining an attorney and other professionals to collect misappropriated funds; filing a claim under the city’s insurance crime policy; and presenting a plan of action and creating a task force to review current procedures, and checks and balances during the city commission’s Aug. 27 meeting.
Due, who has served as the city's finance director since 1999, was suspended last week after an investigation revealed he allegedly took the funds during a three-year period beginning in 2010, said Covington City Manager Larry Klein.
"We need to take a hard look at our procedures and we must implement new procedures ensure that this does not happen again," Klein said. "To that end we will be establishing a Task Force of seasoned professionals with expertise in municipal finance and how to eliminate the potential for fraud to be committed on the public and to seek full recovery of all misappropriated funds."
Due was officially charged with unlawful access to computer, theft of more than $10,000, official misconduct and criminal possession of forged instruments.
Kline met with city staff Monday morning to discuss the allegations facing Due.
"We have many positive projects going forward," Covington Mayor Sherry Carann said. "We will get through this, and we will be better for it."
Kentucky Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said his office still has not determined where the missing money went.
During a Friday press conference City Solicitor Frank Warnock stated that the allegations against Due appear to be "substantiated."
“We are very concerned as serious allegations have been leveled against a co-worker that we trusted, but we have to remember that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty," Warnock said. "We have to let the investigation run its course."
Warnock and Klein had met with officials from the Covington Police Department, the Kenton County Sheriff's Office and Sanders to ensure transparency throughout the investigation.