- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

CENTRAL CITY, Neb. (AP) - A former office manager at a Nebraska county sheriff’s office is suing the sheriff after she was acquitted of a theft charge.

Lori Sautter and her attorneys announced the lawsuit on Wednesday, claiming that Merrick County Sheriff Kevin Campbell invaded her privacy and painted her in a false light within the community. She appeared a news conference with Dane Sullivan, a write-in candidate for sheriff.

Sautter was charged with theft after a 2012 state audit found nearly $17,300 missing from the department and all but about $5,900 was later found. Sautter was found not guilty in May.

She is seeking more than $56,000 in back pay, court costs of more than $4,000 and more than $6,000 for the loss of personal items. She said those items include a radio, vases and mugs.

“Although no amount of money can ever give me back what was taken from me, I have included in my lawsuit an action to have my personal items returned to me,” she said.

Campbell did not attend the news conference and said the lawsuit isn’t warranted. He said he was “confused” about being sued by Sautter for turning the investigation over to the State Patrol.

“That’s what my job is,” he said. “My job as sheriff is to keep the county safe, period. Whether it’s a crime that happened in my office or to a community member, it’s my job.”

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