- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An election official says a Nebraska public official can’t hold office on the Nebraska Board of Education and the Metropolitan Utilities District board at the same time.

Douglas County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said last month that Pat McPherson, who was elected to a four-year term on the State Board of Education in 2014, could hold both positions if he were to win election to the Omaha utility company board this year.

But Kruse said Tuesday that he learned about an exception to a rule that allows the same person to hold one “high” office and one “low” office at the same time. The exception says a person holding an office “described” by the Nebraska Constitution can’t also hold a second elected office.

“After we dug into it a little more, it is buried in there,” Kruse said. “He cannot serve on both. He would have to choose.”

Kruse said McPherson can run for the Omaha utility company board but, if he is elected, he’d have to decide which position to occupy.

Utility board members are paid more than $13,000 per year, and State Board of Education members aren’t paid.

McPherson is one of eight candidates running for two seats on the Metropolitan Utilities District board. Tuesday evening was the filing deadline.

McPherson didn’t return phone calls from The Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/1OQa8Bd ) Tuesday. He had previously said that he would decide after the election whether to serve on both boards.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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