- Associated Press - Thursday, February 19, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Board members for a natural resources district have begun the process of removing a colleague who wants to remain on the board despite being out of the country until June, teaching in China.

The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District board on Wednesday voted against excusing Steve Larrick’s absence from the meeting, according to the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1ETfk45 ). Larrick represents west Lincoln on the board, having run unopposed in November for a third term.

He’s had three unexcused absences from monthly meetings, which under state law is enough to trigger a process for declaring the seat vacant. The board didn’t grant Larrick excused absences for its December and January meetings.

He’d told his colleagues in October that he intended to travel to China and asked that they excuse him until he returns in June. Glen Johnson, the district’s general manager, said the board has debated what action to take because state law doesn’t address sabbaticals or extended leave for directors. Larrick wants to keep his district post, said Johnson, who’s been in contact with Larrick via emails.

Larrick gets to make a case to the board via teleconferencing or videoconferencing during a public hearing that’s required as part of the removal process. The hearing is to be held at the board’s next meeting, March 18.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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