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Petition calls for auditor to review Covington records

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COVINGTON, KENTUCKY (FOX19) -

The City of Covington and its residents are trying to move forward after Finance Director Bob Due was ousted for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from office.

Concerned residents including Charlene Dietz gathered signatures Wednesday at Goebel Park in support of the state auditor coming in to take a closer look at the city's records.

"We've had budget cuts in our police and fire, our services are not adequate. We've got a high crime rate in the city. We the people, the businesses, the taxpayers we are the ones that are suffering from this," Dietz told FOX19.

Last week, Due was arrested for allegedly embezzling over $300,000 of the city's money. Officials say he took between $8,000-$10,000 from the city's account on multiple occasions since 2010. 

"How could this happen? How could this take so long to catch?" said Dietz.

In addition to firing Due, on Tuesday the city voted 3-2 to form a task force to review current procedures, recover all misappropriated funds and recommend changes to the city's finance department.

"I think the task force is a great idea, however, I think we should reconsider some of the appointees to that task force," said Covington City Commissioner Michelle Williams.

Williams is referring to a task force that will be made up of members solely within the city's administration.

"We need independent, outside people with open eyes and open minds to come in and take a look," said Dietz.

Williams showed her support Wednesday for the group Covington Citizens for Ethical and Transparent Government, but she says even though this is a tough time for the city, she's confident the city will bounce back.

"I think everyone should feel comfortable with the decisions that we make going forward, and this is one that we all come to a consensus and agree that the state auditor should be the first one to come and look at the books," said Williams.

They plan to submit the petition to the state auditor within the next two days.

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