State Auditor says lack of checks and balances a key component in recent Northern Kentucky corruption cases

10/15/2013 10:06 AM

ERLANGER – Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam Edelen said Tuesday that a lack of oversight has been the common denominator in a recent spate of public corruption cases in Northern Kentucky and called for more watchdog resources in the region.

Edelen, speaking to a community leaders at a corruption summit, said public officials who have been exposed for fraud or corruption were able to hide their activities because of a lack of transparency in the system.

For instance, Edelen’s office found that former Dayton Independent Schools Superintendent Greg Rye received $223,672 in unauthorized benefits over eight years.
And in August, former Covington finance director Bob Due was arrested on charges of embezzling at least $600,000 from the city.

“In every instance of abuse, we have found a lack of appropriate oversight, a lack of checks and balances,” said Edelen.

Another focus for Edelen is to prevent corruption from happening in the first place
through education and publicizing what penalties will be the result of anyone taking part in a misappropriation of funds.

Because of the outbreak of public corruption in Northern Kentucky, more resources needed to be dedicated to the area.

“Regrettably, as of late, we’ve had to shift resources from other parts of Kentucky to deal with the spade of public corruption that we’ve had here,” Edelen said.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Supervisory Special Agent Craig Donnachie spoke to community leaders about his agency’s involvement in investigating public corruption cases.

He told the group that his agency has monthly meetings with the Kentucky Attorney General’s office to discuss possible cases.

Donnachie said, “We’ll kind of trade information and see what kind of complaints came in and if we get something that’s not a federal case, we’ll turn it over to them and say, what do you think and they’ll do vice versa.”

Donnachie told Pure Politics that the government shutdown has had no effect on his agency in Northern Kentucky, other than his employees having to wait to get paid.

Since his agents are viewed as essential employees, there have been no cutbacks in terms of personnel and investigations.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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