BROMLEY, KY — A Kenton County Grand Jury has indicted former Bromley, KY mayor Donald Lee Jobe on several charges related to his alleged theft of city funds.
Jobe, elected mayor of Bromley in 2014, is charged with abuse of public trust, tampering with physical evidence, four counts of tampering with public records, theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition, and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Between Dec. 6, 2015 and Feb. 7, 2017, Bromley allegedly siphoned $8,485.88 from public funds for his own personal use. Over the span of his tenure as mayor, he allegedly made many purchases for which he was reimbursed by the city, and several charges to the city's credit card.
Kenton County Police executed search warrants on the Bromley City Building and Jobe's personal residence in Feb. 2017, and Jobe subsequently resigned as mayor in Aug. 2017. He continued to serve as the fire chief for Bromley until he was arrested in Oct. 2018.
"Our community deserves government we can trust no matter the size of the city," said Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders. "No amount of restitution can pay for the erosion of the public's faith in its government."
The charges against Jobe could carry sentences of anywhere from 13 to 20 years: the charge of abuse of public trust is a Class C felony punishable by five to ten years, and each other charge against him can carry one to five years in prison, but Kentucky law caps the maximum punishment for Class C and D felonies at 20 years, no matter how many counts they face.
Jobe allegedly purchased computer parts he claimed were for a new computer for the City of Bromley. He submitted a receipt for reimbursement to the tune of $1,200 -- but the city of Bromley never received a new computer. Under scrutiny, the computer parts purchased turned out to be "high-end performance parts" that would never have been necessary for a government computer, according to warrants. However, during the execution of search warrants, police did seize a gaming PC from Jobe's residence. Police compared serial numbers from some of the parts claimed for reimbursement, and did find they matched parts inside Jobe's computer.
He also allegedly utilized funds for car repairs for his 2002 Honda Odyssey, originally claiming the car parts he bought were for the City of Bromley's New Holland TC30 tractor. However, the parts he purchased were shown to be incompatible with the city's tractor, as it requires Ford parts and Jobe had purchased Honda parts. He allegedly admitted to police that these parts were purchased for his personal vehicle, but claimed the receipts for reimbursement had been submitted by mistake.
Warrants say between June and Nov. 2016, Jobe was allegedly "confronted by another elected official for approximately $1,200 in suspicious purchases on the city's credit card at a number of different retailers," said arrest warrant documents. After this confrontation, Jobe "made an unsolicited $1,500 payment on the city's credit card account, then asked the other official if they were 'good now'."
He also allegedly used thousands of dollars to furnish improvements to his own home, such as a new wrap-around porch and updated electrical work inside. Jobe allegedly charged around $1,588 on the city's Home Depot credit card, claiming the materials were for city-owned homes that were to be boarded up.
In Nov. 2016, Jobe allegedly instructed the city clerk to write him a check valuing $3,286 for "petty cash." Warrant documents say the clerk felt the advance of funds did not "feel right", but complied because Jobe told her the auditor had approved the transaction.
During the execution of the search warrant at the Bromley city building, investigators discovered city records from July, August, September, and October of 2016 were missing.
The documents were later discovered by investigators and city officials aiding in the search "in a trash bag found behind other items on the bottom shelf of a safe kept in the Mayor's office," said warrant documents. The records discovered contained receipts documenting Jobe's use of the city credit card.
According to a press release from Sanders' office, the attorney who previously represented Jobe has filed a motion asking the court to release him from his representation.