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Judge formally sentences former NKU AD for theft

Mark Heyne

A Campbell County judge has given Former Northern Kentucky University athletic director Scott Eaton the maximum 10-year sentence he agreed to, for stealing more than $311,000 from the university. 

In court, Eaton said he was sorry to NKU, his family and friends for what he had done.  His attorney, Ben Dusing, says Eaton's apology was heartfelt:

"The tragedy in a situation like this is that Dr. Eaton genuinely cared about that university, by all accounts gave 15 years of his life to improving it, making it better, was there at a critical time of its transition to a Division I program."

Eaton will also have to repay NKU.  Dusing says it's unlikely he'll be able to pay back the entire amount, but says Eaton will do his best.  Circuit Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward set Eaton's minimum monthly payment at $500.   

By law, Eaton may not have to serve the entire ten years.  Dusing says he could be eligible for parole in a little over a year.

NKU fired Eaton last year after learning the he had inappropriate relationships with several employees and a student. An external audit confirmed suspicions that he had also stolen funds from NKU.  University Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel Sara Sidebottom is satisfied by the outcome of the case:

"The university is very grateful for the work that was completed by the Attorney General's Office of the Commonwealth, as well as the Commonwealth Attorney's office in Campbell County. We believe as a result of their hard work and diligence that we have a fair and justifiable outcome."

In court, Sidebottom said the impact of the theft on NKU is considerable and the funds would have helped at a time the university is dealing with a tight budget.  She told reporters NKU would make certain it got back as much of the money as it can.