State

City pursues ex-official’s $320,000 pension, house to recover nearly $1M stolen

Robert Due.
Robert Due. Kenton County jail

Bob Due is back in Covington to help the city recover some of the money he stole. Sentenced in 2014 for embezzling $800,000 from the city, the former Covington finance director sits in the Kenton County jail, waiting to sign over his pension to the city.

Due is serving a 10-year sentence in a halfway house in Louisville, Department of Corrections records report.

The city has recovered $300,000 of the $972,000 in lost money and attorneys fees they want Due to pay, Covington City Solicitor Frank Warnock said.

“By bringing him to Kenton County, we are providing him an opportunity to be a little more proactive in assisting the city in the recovery effort,” Warnock said.

The city filed an action against Due this month to recover an additional $320,000 from his city pension. The city also hopes to get proceeds from the sale of his Independence home, valued at $225,000. It remains on the market. The city’s insurance carrier reimbursed the city $150,000.

For the city, this saga has dragged on through the courts for more than three years. City Manager Larry Klein and city staff discovered in August 2013 Due had stolen the $800,000 from 2001 to 2013. Due had created two fake vendor names in the city’s finance software and deposited those vendors’ checks in his own personal accounts.

The city has tried to recover their money and attorneys fees ever since.

He was supposed to have signed his pension payments to the city a year ago, Warnock said. That’s why the city filed the latest action, Warnock said. Due’s lawyer, Jeff Lawson, said it’s not easy to do complex legal maneuvers in a maximum security prison, where Due had been incarcerated until moving to the halfway house a month ago. Access to documents is limited, he said.

“It is difficult to have a client incarcerated do much of anything, to speak with him, have a conversation,” Lawson said. “It is even more difficult to execute the legal forms. They’re complicated, and this is not the best of situations.”

Due is expected to appear in Kenton County Circuit Court at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to hand over documents that will allow the city to receive his pension. His attorney said he’s signed all the necessary documents. Kentucky law doesn’t allow the city to simply go through the state to get the pension money allowed, Warnock said. They need Due’s signature. His incarceration has made this difficult, Warnock said.

Due is next up for parole in Sept. 1, 2018.

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