Ex-Bromley Mayor Waives Corruption Charges to Grand Jury
Former Bromley Mayor Donald "Donnie" Jobe appeared in Kenton District Court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing after he was arrested September 30 on corruption charges.
Jobe, 36, is charged with four counts of tampering with public records, two counts of theft by deception involving city checks, fraudulent use of a city credit card, tampering with physical evidence, abuse of the public trust, and theft by failure to make required disposition of property.
A Kenton County Grand Jury will now consider an indictment.
Tuesday's hearing was swift, with Jobe appearing before Judge Ken Easterling simply to announce his plans to waive his right to a preliminary hearing.
Jobe resigned as mayor in September of last year, seven months after the Bromley city building was raided by the Kenton County Police. He served as mayor and fire chief concurrently, but stayed on as fire chief after his resignation as mayor.
Jobe stepped down as fire chief following his arrest.
As reported earlier by The River City News when Jobe was arrested:
Investigators suggest that Jobe allegedly misused or misappropriated city funds for personal use from December 6, 2015 through February 7, 2017, just before the city building and Jobe's home were raided by Kenton County Police.
On December 6, 2015, Jobe is accused of purchasing computer parts for the purpose of building a new computer for the City of Bromley, and on December 8, allegedly submitted a receipt for reimbursement for the computer parts in the amount of $1,200.85. As of February 7, 2017, that computer was never delivered to the city.
Investigators found many of the computer parts to be high-end performance parts "unlikely to be needed or used on a government computer," the warrant read. A gaming computer was seized from Jobe's residence with parts that matched those purchased by the former mayor. No parts purchased by Jobe were found in city computers.
Jobe also submitted a receipt for an ignition coil valued at $47.99, which he allegedly said was for the city's tractor. However, the coil purchased is used for Honda and Acura passenger vehicles, and not New Holland tractors. Jobe owns a 2002 Honda Odyssey, and investigators said that Jobe admitted that the coil was purchased for the minivan and submitted to the city by mistake.
Another receipt for $101.23 was submitted for reimbursement following the purchase of a master cylinder part. It was also said to be for the city tractor, but investigators said such a part would not fit the tractor in question as it is made for Ford trucks instead. Jobe owns a 2008 Ford F250 which would use such a part.
Another elected official confronted Jobe about charges of approximately $1,200 to the city's credit card at a number of different retailers in June, 2016. Jobe made an unsolicited $1,500 payment to the credit card, and then asked the other elected official if they were "good now," according to investigators.
Some of the credit card purchases took place at Home Depot between June and November 2016, and Jobe noted in the receipts submitted to the city that the purchases were for boarded homes in the city.
While the City of Bromley boarded up some homes during that time frame, none of the materials listed on the receipts were required for the work, investigators said. During the same time, Jobe added a wraparound porch to his own home, and police said that the materials used for that project matched those on the receipts from Home Depot.
Jobe's home also had recent electrical work done and the materials used for that project also matched purchases on the city's credit card made at Home Depot.
In five months, Jobe charged more than $1,500 to the city credit card at Home Depot.
The former mayor also submitted a copy of a personal check for reimbursement in the amount of $2,261.32. He claimed that a friend, A.J. Alan, performed electrical work at the city building. Jobe said that Alan worked for ARC Electric but was doing work for the city on the side. Jobe claimed that a electrical outlets were being installed in a closet to be used for the city's computer servers.
Kenton County Police interviewed a witness who claimed that Jobe performed the electrical work himself with the assistance of another man, identified in the warrant as Jason Youch. Jobe received his requested reimbursement check for $2,261.32 and deposited it in his personal account.
Meanwhile, the check he submitted to the city, which he claimed was paid to A.J. Alan, was actually never cashed, police said.
In fact, ARC Electric told investigators that it has never employed anyone named A.J. Alan.
Further, Jobe used his authority as mayor to instruct the city clerk to issue him a check for petty cash in the amount of $3,286.
The city clerk questioned whether such an advance was appropriate, according to investigators. Jobe claimed that the city auditor advised him that this was the appropriate way to handle such expenditures.
The clerk told investigators that the transaction did not feel right, but she complied. The check was issued, and deposited into Jobe's personal account.
City auditor John Chamberlin was contacted by investigators and state that he never advised Jobe to obtain an advance for petty cash and would never approve such a check because it violates acceptable practices.
During the search of the city building, Jobe allegedly removed computers and devices - including the clerk's and treasurer's computers, which they claimed would not turn on.
Investigators found that at least one of those computers had a power supply disconnected internally to prevent it from turning on. The Kentucky State Police is handling the investigation of the electronics, and those results are pending.
Financial records from July through October of 2016 were missing during the raid as well. Those items were later found in a trash bag found behind other items on a bottom shelf of a safe kept in the mayor's office.
The records in question contained the receipts documenting Jobe's use of the city credit card for personal purchases, police said.
Other city officials have contended since then that they did not know the scope of the investigation.
Councilman Mike Denham was selected to serve out Jobe's term as mayor and is running unopposed in the upcoming election for a full term.
Denham was out of town last week, forcing the City of Bromley to postpone its regularly scheduled meeting set for last Wednesday to this Wednesday, October 10, at 6 p.m. It will be the first city council meeting since Jobe's arrest.
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher
Photo: Bromley city building (RCN file)