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This year, Northern Kentucky has seen its
fair share of public corruption cases involving local leaders allegedly
misusing taxpayer dollars.
The state auditor's office says they're now
forced to use substantial resources from other parts of the state to oversee
many of the issues going on in Northern Kentucky.
February, former Walton, Kentucky mayor Phill
Trzop is indicted for abuse of public trust. He's on five years probation for
selling $34,000 worth of scrap metal that belonged to the Boone County Water
Not even a month later, Kentucky state
auditor Adam Edelen's office reveals that former Dayton Independent Schools
superintendent Gary Rye used about $225,000 in unauthorized benefits and
About a week after that, Northern Kentucky
University fires their AD Scott Eaton for allegedly stealing more than $300,000
of school money for personal use.
Finally, Covington finance director Bob Due is
fired and later charged for allegedly stealing city money. That amount
according to his former colleagues, more than $600,000.
A grand total of approximately
"Sick to my stomach, appalled, just
can't believe it," says Dayton Independent Schools board member Rosann Sharon.
"I think it's clear that these cases
seem to be out of character for this region," explains Kentucky state auditor Adam
So what's the state doing about this? FOX19
took that question to state auditor Adam Edelen at a good government summit. He
stresses there needs to be more involvement from the public and more of a
structured system that doesn't depend on one or two individuals at the top.
"We've got to re-double our efforts to
make sure that the people of Northern Kentucky are getting a government that is
as good and honest as they are," says Edelen.
Covington resident and business owner Sandi
Stonebraker says the recent embezzlement discourages her, but is confident city
leaders can turn it around.
"If we just continue to move towards
that vision, getting through all the rough times, those make us stronger and
more cohesive in many cases, we'll get there," explains Sandi Stonebraker.
The state auditor's office discussed 32
recommendations for oversight to local leaders today.
office is already in the process of planning another similar summit for