Few Attend Event to Sign Petition Accusing City Hall Involvement in Alleged Ebezzlement
Fewer than a dozen people showed up to sign a petition spearheaded by Covington City Commissioners Mildred Rains and Michelle Williams that includes language accusing City Hall officials of possible involvement in former Finance Director Bob Due's alleged embezzlement scheme.
The petition circulated online on Wednesday, a day after Rains and Williams voiced and voted their opposition to the newly created task force that will analyze the structure of the city's finance department and craft a plan to recoup as much as possible of the missing funds, roughly $300,000 and possibly more.
Rains and Williams have argued that Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen should conduct an audit of the department before any task force is assembled.
The petition the two dissenting commissioners are pushing asks what Mayor Sherry Carran, Commissioners Chuck Eilerman and Steve Frank, City Manager Larry Klein, and other staff have to hide.
"The majority of the city commission, which is blindly supportive of the city manager, has refused to invite the state auditor to review the books, practices, and finances of the City of Covington, despite a call to do so by two commissioners - instead trying to whitewash the gross breach of trust with a "task force" made up of the city manager, assistant city manager, mayor, Commissioner (Steve) Frank, and others who failed to prevent, and possibly allowed, and condoned, the theft by Mr. Due," the petition reads.
The River City News spoke with Auditor Edelen's office on Wednesday. A spokesperson said that a petition is not necessary and that a hundred signatures would be considered just the same as a phone call from one person. Additionally, the spokesperson said, if the auditor's officer were to come to Covington, it would not be for an audit, but rather for an investigation.
City commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to fire Due, who was often a voice for fiscal conservatism in City Hall, and replace him with Jerome Heist who will serve on an interim basis.
Written by Michael Monks