Robert Due case: Suicidal fired Covington official leaves hospital, appears in court

Judge allows him to stay out of jail

COVINGTON , Ky. – Fired Covington Finance Director Robert Due appeared in court Wednesday afternoon for the first time since he attempted suicide last week after being accused of stealing $600,000 from the city.

A judge expressed concern for Due’s mental health but allowed Due to stay at home on electronic monitoring rather than send him to jail or back to the hospital. Due will be living with his son but not his wife.

Due left the hospital Wednesday morning for the first time since Aug. 27.

"The judge made it very clear he was concerned about the defendant's own mental health and well being," said Rob Sanders, Kenton County commonwealth's attorney.  "We don't want to have any more tragedies on our hands or anything to make this case worse than it already is."

Due waived his preliminary hearing, so there was no testimony Wednesday. The case goes to the grand jury.

Meanwhile, State Auditor Adam Edelen announced he will discuss the embezzlement case and the state audit of the Finance Department at a news conference at 1 p.m Thursday at city hall along with Sanders and Covington Mayor Sherry Carran.

There were new developments Tuesday in both the criminal and civil cases involving Due.

Search warrants filed with Kenton District Court indicated that Due gave no excuses for the alleged theft and said he was simply "living above his means."

Detectives seized two Dell computers and numerous documents from his office. One warrant detailed a financial account that had been frozen.

In the civil case, a judge eased the freeze on Due’s wife’s assets. Patterson was allowed to access an account where the paycheck from her job is deposited.

Another civil hearing is set for Oct. 2.

The city's lawsuit, filed Friday, alleges that Due deposited the money into his accounts and the accounts of his wife, their children and his late aunt, Virginia Molique, who died in 2012.

The suit also makes claims against auditing firms and banks that failed to detect his alleged scheme as well as companies that provided the city with theft-prevention software and employee-theft insurance.

Due, who was Covington’s finance director since 1999, pleaded not guilty last week 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.

9 On Your Side's Natasha Williams contributed to this report.

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