City employee indicted for taking control of property

-A A +A
By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - A city employee has been indicted in Bullitt Circuit Court for taking equipment was he did not own.

Robert “Junior” Bright, who is currently on medical leave from the city of Shepherdsville, has been indicted on a Class C felony of theft by failure to make required disposition of property valued at over $10,000.

The indictment carries a possible prison sentence of 5-10 years.

According to the indictment, from January 2009 and through January 2011, Bright allegedly obtained equipment from the city without paying for the property.

Bright was hired to work on the city’s capital project team, which was formed to run a large sewer interceptor project for Shepherdsville. Since that time, the team has been dissolved and the project is being handled by private contractors.

Commonwealth attorney Michael Mann’s office presented information to the grand jury in March. The evidence was that Bright was in possession of a skid loader during that period of time and there was testimony that he didn’t intend for the property to be returned to the city.

The $32,000 skid loader was purchased in 2009 as part of a capital project. However, when the issue arose last February, councilmembers did not remember purchasing the equipment.

The skid loader was bought from Whayne Supply in February 2009. It eventually would be returned to the city’s possession.

At the time last winter when the city was searching to find $4 million, allegations were made that Bright was using the equipment for personal side jobs. Bright is currently on medical leave.

The information was turned over to the Kentucky State Police, which investigated the case.

Witnesses who appeared before the grand jury included a KSP detective, the current sewer department supervisor Chuck Keith and Marty Brown, whose company was contracted by the city to analyze the financial situation in Shepherdsville.

Since that time, the city has undertaken a bond issue and raised sewer rates by over 60 percent to help cover the debt.

A recent audit did not show any theft of funds.

Mann said he could not comment further on the case.

In an interview with WAVE 3 last February, Bright denied any involvement with the missing equipment and said that the council knew everything that was being done.

An indictment does not mean guilt or innocence. It only means that at least nine of the 12 grand jurors felt there was enough information to move forward with a criminal trial.