Robert Due: Ex-Covington finance director removed from house arrest, sent to jail

Judge gives Due a tongue lashing

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. -- Former Covington Finance Director Robert Due left a courtroom in handcuffs Wednesday after being verbally reprimanded by a judge for stabbing himself in the stomach.

Due was ordered to be removed from house arrest and transported to jail after being scolded by Kenton County Vice Chief District Judge Douglas Grothaus.

"To be completely honest it's pretty selfish,” Grothaus said, referring to an incident earlier this month in which Due was hospitalized with a self-inflicted stab wound to his abdomen. "I know that's not politically correct to say, but it's reality."

Due also attempted suicide in August after being accused of stealing $600,000 from the city, authorities said.

In a court appearance on Wednesday, Grothaus told Due he should be ashamed of his actions and for putting his family through the recent events that led up to the hearing.

"You've placed everyone including your family, your former colleagues, the jury, the commonwealth, the court and unfortunately the tax payer in a very difficult position," Grothaus said.

Judges don't normally reveal much about themselves from the bench, but Grothaus did while ruling over Due's case.

"Trust me, I know. I'm living that survivor's guilt every day when my former wife died," Grothaus paused for a moment and then finished his sentence. " suicide."

After the tongue lashing, Grothaus had to make a decision.

"Are you going to decide to take somebody else with you," Grothaus asked Due. "Are you going to try and take out a policeman as he shows up to try and save you?"

Grothaus set Due's bond at $500,000. He was placed in handcuffs and transported directly to jail.

During a court appearance earlier this month, a judge expressed concern for Due’s mental health but allowed him to stay at home on electronic monitoring rather than send him to jail or back to the hospital. Due was living with his son.

Due, who was Covington’s finance director since 1999, pleaded not guilty in August to theft, unlawful access to a computer, criminal possession of a forged instrument and official misconduct.

If convicted, he could face 20 years behind bars.

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