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07-15-2019 Minutes

July 15, 2019

North Platte, Nebraska

 

Meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. Present were Commissioners Joe Hewgley, Bill Henry, Kent Weems, Walt Johnson, Jerry Woodruff and County Clerk, Rebecca Rossell. Johnson offered prayer. Hewgley called the meeting to order at 9:03 A.M.

 

Chairman Hewgley announced the Open Meeting Act with amendments is posted for public review and the county board will comply with the open meeting requirements.

 

Motion by Woodruff, seconded by Johnson to approve the minutes regarding the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meeting held on July 8, 2019. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Johnson, seconded by Henry to receive and order filed the treasurer’s receipts. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Woodruff to receive and order filed the fee reports submitted by the County Treasurer and County Sheriff. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Johnson, seconded by Weems to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the food service contract with CBM Managed Services for the Detention Center. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners recessed at 9:15 A.M. and the Lincoln County Board of Equalization convened.

 

Chairman Hewgley announced the Open Meeting Act with amendments is posted for public review and the county board will comply with the open meeting requirements.

 

County Assessor, Julie Stenger appeared.

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Woodruff to approve the minutes regarding the Lincoln County Board of Equalization meeting held on July 8, 2019. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

No certificates of correction or refund submitted by the County Assessor.

 

Motion by Johnson, seconded by Weems to approve to accept the late filing of homestead exemption for Peter J. Kopecky. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Equalization recessed at 9:19 A.M. and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners reconvened.

 

Motion by Woodruff, seconded by Henry to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the special designated liquor permit submitted by Switchyard Grill & Pub Inc. for an event on August 10, 2019 at Harbor Lights. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye’. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Weems, seconded by Henry to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the special designated liquor permit submitted by North Platte Kids Academy for an event on August 8, 2019 at Harbor Lights. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Johnson to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the special designated liquor permit submitted by Big Red Liquor for an event on July 27, 2019 at Harbor Lights. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye’. Nays, none.

 

  1. L. Spray, attorney at law, introduced himself and stated he is representing Lorie Koertner.

 

Mary Avery and Deann Haeffner, representing the Nebraska State Auditor of Public Accounts Office, presented the Attestation Report of the Lincoln County Treasurer’s Office from 1-1-2019 to 5-31-2019.

 

Chairman Hewgley asked that the agenda for the 7-15-2019 Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and Equalization be marked and accepted as Exhibit 45.

 

Chairman Hewgley stated that all witnesses would be sworn in by the court reporter.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners asked various questions of the Nebraska State Auditor’s Office personnel concerning the Attestation Report of the Lincoln County Treasurer’s Office from 1-1-2019 to 5-31-2019.

 

Chairman Hewgley asked that the Attestation Report be marked and accepted as Exhibit 4.

 

Attorney J. L. Spray, asked questions of the Nebraska State Auditor’s Office personnel concerning the Attestation Report of the Lincoln County Treasurer’s Office from 1-1-2019 to 5-31-2019.

 

Chairman Hewgley asked that Exhibit 37B be marked and accepted.

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Woodruff to go into closed session at 11:39 A.M. concerning strategy session regarding pending and imminent litigation and to protect attorney client privilege, which is clearly necessary to protect the public interest. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Chairman Hewgley restated the motion for the closed session.

 

Motion by Woodruff, seconded by Henry to go into open session at 12:04 P.M. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners recessed at 12:04 P.M. and reconvened at 1:00 P.M.

 

Chairman Hewgley asked that impartiality statements signed by the County Board be marked and accepted as Exhibits 47 through 51.

 

Chairman Hewgley asked that return service documents for the July 15, 2019 hearing served to Lorie Koertner be accepted and marked as Exhibit 52.

 

Chairman Hewgley asked that crossed out document being used by Chairman Hewgley and the list of exhibits be marked and accepted as Exhibits 53 & 54.

 

Chairman Hewgley read procedures to be used to conduct the hearing under Neb. Rev. Statute §23-1603 to determine if the Lincoln County Treasurer (Lorie Koertner) neglected or refused to render any account or settlement required by law, failed or neglected to account for any account of settlement required by law, failed or neglected to account for any balance due the state, county, township, school district, or any other misconduct in office, on or about January 3, 2019 to May 13, 2019.

 

Attorney, J. L. Spray, asked that Exhibit 46 be marked and accepted.

 

Deputy County Attorney, Joe Wright, offered all exhibits including Mr. Spray’s.

 

Mr. Spray stated he had no objections to Exhibits 6 -36B. He did however object to the review of them. He does not believe the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will understand the complicated documents.

 

Chairman Hewgley asked that all Exhibits marked 4 through 54 be marked and accepted.

 

Stuart Simpson, of North Platte Public Schools, gave testimony concerning the schools cash flow from November, 2018 to May, 2019 and the distributions issued by the County Treasurer.

 

Dan Keyser, Sutherland Public Schools Superintendent, gave testimony concerning the schools bond payment issue.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners recessed at 2:32 P.M. and reconvened at 2:43 P.M.

 

Dan Keyser continued his testimony.

 

Shelli Franzen, interim County Treasurer, gave testimony concerning some of the exhibits and the functions of the County Treasurer’s Office.

 

Sharla Willard, an employee of the County Treasurer’s Office gave testimony concerning functions of the County Treasurer’s Office.

 

County Assessor, Julie Stenger, gave testimony concerning the 2018 tax levies and tax districts.

 

Rebecca Rossell, County Clerk, gave testimony concerning the 2018 tax levies and tax districts.

 

Donna Moore, former employee of the County Treasurer’s Office who retired in 2018, gave testimony on the functions of the County Treasurer’s Office.

 

Debra McNeel, former employee of the County Treasurer’s Office who retired in 2018, gave testimony on the functions of the County Treasurer’s Office.

 

Lorie Koertner gave testimony and answered various questions concerning this matter.

 

The hearing was closed at 6:57 P.M.

 

Deputy County Attorney, Joe Wright, asked that the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office be recused from deliberations and that Tim Brouilliette, attorney at law, be counsel for the Lincoln County Board of Commissioner’s concerning this matter.

 

Motion by Weems, seconded by Johnson to go into closed session at 7:10 P.M. for deliberation to determine if the Lincoln County Treasurer (Lorie Koertner) committed one or more of the violations (misconduct in office) stated in Neb. Rev. Stat. §23-1603. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Chairman Hewgley restated the motion for the closed session.

 

The five members of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and legal counsel, Tim Brouillette, went into closed session.

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Johnson to go into open session at 9:27 A.M. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Attorney, Tim Brouillette, stated that he had instructed the board members to only consider the evidence presented at the hearing and witness testimony.

 

Based upon the evidence presented today, Motion by Woodruff, seconded by Weems that it should be the finding of the Lincoln County Commissioners that Lorie Koertner, in her capacity as Lincoln County Treasurer, committed one or more of the violations as stated in Neb. Rev. Stat. §23-1603 dealing with misconduct in office, neglecting or refusing to render any account or settlement, and failing to account for balances due other governmental entities as required by law, including a specific finding that there is sufficient evidence to prove the alleged violations 1 – 6 as read into the record. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Johnson, seconded by Henry that due to the finding of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners at the hearing held on July 15, 2019 that Lorie Koertner be removed as Lincoln County Treasurer and her employment as such be terminated. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Hear concerns from Elected Officials, Department Heads and their representative.

 

(Due to the length of the public hearing claims were held and will be signed at the 7-22-2019 board meeting.)

 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners recessed and the Lincoln County Board of Equalization reconvened at 9:28 P.M.

 

No property valuation protests – Form 422 were discussed or considered.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Equalization adjourned at 9:29 P.M. and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners reconvened.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 P.M.

 

Advance notice and the agenda for the July 15, 2019 board meetings were sent to the county board and all others requesting the same. Advance public notice (includes agenda) of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meeting and the Lincoln County Board of Equalization meeting was posted at the Lincoln County Courthouse, City Hall and the Lincoln County website on July 12, 2019; and was also emailed to the media on July 12, 2019.

 

The agenda for the meetings to be held on Monday, July 22, 2019 will be kept

continually current and open for inspection at the office of the Lincoln County Clerk. The regular meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will be at the Lincoln County Courthouse in the Commissioners Room at 9:00 A.M. The regular meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Equalization will be at the Lincoln County Courthouse in the Commissioners Room at 9:15 A.M.

 

 

Rebecca J. Rossell

Lincoln County Clerk

 

 

 

 

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