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Former county treasurer in Nebraska blasts board for ouster

May 22, 2019

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — A former western Nebraska county treasurer who was ousted by county commissioners has blasted the board for her removal.

The North Platte Telegraph reported that Lorie Koertner appeared briefly Monday at a hearing of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and said she hadn’t committed any act “that even remotely justifies discipline.”

The commissioners didn’t provide any specifics when they voted May 13 but cited a state law in removing her “for neglecting or refusing to render any account or settlement required by law, and failing or neglecting to account for any balance due the state, county, township, school district or any other municipal subdivision or is guilty of any other misconduct in office.”

The board’s action was a “culmination of events over the last couple of months,” board chairman Joe Hewgley said last week. He said money related to North Platte Public Schools was involved, as were disbursements to other government entities. The school board has approved $3.7 million in emergency borrowing, saying expected property tax payments from the treasurer’s office had fallen so short the district had exhausted its reserves.

In the statement she read Monday before leaving the hearing, Koertner said “not one dollar belonging to the county or its political subdivisions has ever been unaccounted for” and “not one report or account required by law has not been rendered timely” from the time she was sworn in Jan. 3.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Koertner for comment were unsuccessful.

Koertner ran unopposed in November after winning the Republican primary last May.

Hewgley, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said Wednesday that the board took no action Monday to rescind Koertner’s dismissal. Commissioners scheduled the hearing Monday on the advice of Deputy County Attorney Joe Wright, said Hewgley, who referred additional questions to Wright.

Wright declined to comment.


Information from: The North Platte Telegraph, http://www.nptelegraph.com

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